Telecom players look toward IoT opportunity. CAT to build IoT infrastructure.




21 MAR 2018 / Bangkok ― New opportunities in Thai and global digital economy will arise from prevalence of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, said telecom experts during the Telecoms World Asia 2018.

Organized at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre on 19-20 Mar, Telecoms World Asia 2018 brought together international telecom players and experts to share business perspectives toward an era of digital transformation.

Spoke during the event’s opening ceremony,Dr. Dhanant Subhadrabandhu, Senior Executive Vice President ,Business and Service, CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, said IoT was the significant trend for both individual and business sector deployment.

Globally, Business Insider estimates that nearly six trillion USD will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years. There will be 24 billion IoT devices connected to internet by 2020, up from 10 billion in 2015.

“IoT deployments are now perhaps the most anticipated, but least-understood, initiatives of IT departments today,” said Dr. Dhanant,

According to Frost & Sullivan forecast,Thailand IoT spending is expected to grow 973 million USD by 2020.

Dr. Dhanant said Thai government was promoting IoT by approving funding for the construction of “IoT Institute” in Digital Park Thailand, an important component in ongoing Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project aiming to establish innovation-driven economy under Thailand 4.0 policy. Recently, Board of Investment of Thailand announced to include IoT industry in its strategy plan within the next seven years.

“CAT has commercially launched the LoRa IoT network device last year to accommodate the growth of IoT in future,” said Dr Dhanant. “We’re preparing infrastructure to meet significant growth of IoT, which require platforms to develop IoT applications.”

Currently, CAT is opened for partnership in developing digital services in Thailand where abundant opportunities are promising through fast-growing telecom markets and government project implementations.

Overall Thai telecom market grew 9.5%, generating over 21 billion USD in 2017. Similar trend is seen in communication services market which grew 12.2% and generated over 12 billion USD in the same year.

The growth is concentrated in mobile services, indicating drastically increase of mobile internet usage. Currently, there are 93.61 million mobile subscriptions that account to 135% of Thai population. Around 51 million are active social media users and 4million are active mobile social users. 

Meanwhile, said Dr. Dhanant, e-commerce is growing consistently because of several factors including consumer demands and increasing access to internet and e-commerce platforms.

“We need infrastructure. There are many operators who support IoT in this country. Enterprises and consumers are aware that IoT can improve efficiency in their works,” said Dr. Nuttawit Surittikul, Executive Vice President for Wireless Sales & Product Group at CAT Telecom.

“But to deploy IoT, market is one of key challenges. We need mass consumers to be aware of how IoT can change their life.”

He said CAT had launched infrastructure to support IoT in piloted project “Phuket Smart City,” equipped with hundreds of weather censors and IoT technology that provide data to everyone. The project aims to shape up digital economy in Phuket under Thailand 4.0. Other economic hubs such as Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen will be the next targets for smart city projects.

During the event, many telecom businesses agreed that prevalence of IoT technology had prompted adaption ofbusiness model and raised striking needs for business to create new partnership and improve network infrastructure.

IoT is a huge opportunity. Growing numbers of IoT devices will need facilities and infrastructure including fibers, data centers and more cellphones,” said Fabrizio Civitarese, President of Asia Pacific for Global Cloud Xchange.

Alice Au, Senior Vice President for International Carrier Services at China Unicom Global, said her company used tomake money from selling resources. Now the company must shift to provide IoT solutions in partnership with other companies.

“One of challenges is to change business as fast as possible to catch up needs of users,” she said.

However, during the panel “Addressing the challenge of security in a connected world,” telecom experts stated their concerns for the threat to cyber security posed by prevalence of IoT devices.

Juni Yan, Vice President for security in AMEA, said the threat could be seen in two perspectives; consumer perspective which sees the rise of cyberattacks on individuals, and infrastructural perspective which sees the emergence of political cyber war and terrorists that intimidate national security and economy across the globe.

“Network infrastructures are more opened and put cyber security in vulnerability” she said. “Collaboration is critical to strengthen cyber security.”

She said there were many cyber security solutions today. But they are scattered, which poses another challenge about how to bring together all those solutions and optimize security across different layers of digital platforms.