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Thailand to pursue development of the Internet of Things through the IoT Institute and the Digital Park

Thailand to pursue development of the Internet of Things through the IoT Institute and the Digital Park

An announcement
made by the Bangkok Post highlighted how Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency
(DEPA) is supporting the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology
in Thailand through the IoT Institute and the Digital Park.

The DEPA said that by supporting and
creating new value for the IoT, the government will be able to influence the
development of its technology in Thailand.

DEPA has high hopes that the IoT Institute
it plans to build in the government’s digital park will draw investment from
foreign enterprises as well as promote the Thai tech startup ecosystem through
innovation development.

The first phase of construction of the IoT
Institute will begin in October 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Road shows will be held abroad by the
government to attract investments in data servers, new digital businesses, and
R&D in the country for the master plan of Digital Park Thailand.

DEPA President Mr Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin
said, “Several global vendors have expressed interest in working with DEPA for technology
test lab development. Three companies are expected to sign a joint investment
agreement with DEPA for establishment of the labs by next week.”

He added that the three firms who are
interested are Huawei Technologies, Cisco and SK Telecom.

A 3.9 billion Baht, five-year budget for
the IoT Institute was recently allocated by the government to DEPA through the Ministry of Digital
Economy and Society
(DE).

IoT is considered a cross-cutting technology
for all industrial sectors including public services because it can enhance
productivity at the same time reducing the cost of business operations.

Awareness of IoT has been growing as more
Thai companies explore the technology, but adoption is still at the beginning
stage. Adoption of IoT is anticipated in the future as companies and industries
realise innovative tech development and 5G wireless broadband infrastructure
will facilitate its usage.

The IoT Institute project will be divided
into two phases. The first phase consists of office and residential buildings
located on 4,500 sq. metres developed with a Baht 104 million budget. It will also
have an innovation space 40,000 sq. metres in size, with a budget of Baht 1.38
billion.

The second phase, administered through a
long-term contract investment by way of public-private partnership agreement,
will be reserved for companies interested in investing on closed labs to
develop innovative tech.

Mr Nuttapon explained, “The highlight of
this institute is the innovation space because it will directly promote the IoT
ecosystem of the country," said Mr Nuttapon.

He furthered that the space will create
opportunities for vendors in artificial intelligence, IoT, or 5G technologies.

DEPA also plans to set testing standards
for IoT solutions and platforms to guarantee similar quality for industries and
individuals using the technology. IoT solutions and products must pass a
testing process before being allowed to sell in the market.

Mr Nuttapon added, “DEPA has to prepare for
the influx of imported IoT products to ensure it can control them so that
consumers will benefit.”

The Digital Park project is a flagship
project of the Eastern
Economic Corridor (EEC)
, which is divided into three zones: an
innovation space, a university 4.0 and digital academy, and a living space.

It is being developed under a five-year
road map from 2018 until 2022. The project covers 709 rai (about 312.3 acres) on
CAT Telecom's property in Sri Racha, Chon Buri province.

The Digital Park project has two phases.
The first consists of the construction of the IoT Institute as well as the selection
of partners under a public-private partnership, as mentioned earlier.

For phase two, CAT Telecom has hired a
consulting company to help select potential partners for co-construction of
project infrastructure.

Digital road shows are scheduled to be done
in Japan, Taiwan, US, China this year. President of CAT Telecom Col Sanpachai
Huvanandana said, “CAT expects the Digital Park project to find partners by
September. The partners will include related infrastructure and utility
developers.”

DE Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said that the
Digital Park project will act as a national digital innovation and research
park, which will help Thailand stand at the forefront of digital innovation
thereby connecting local players to global firms.

Since the park will be located in the EEC,
it has a high investment potential, with full connectivity to transport and
logistics.

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