Thailand as a strong contender to be the ICT hub for Indochina

By November 2019Uncategorized

Thailand as a strong contender to be the ICT hub for Indochina

Thailand as a strong contender to be the ICT hub for Indochina

The inaugural Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention (THCDC 2019) organised by W.Media was held at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit on 6 November 2019. The event welcomed over 750 attendees, 30 technology showcase and 30 expert speakers from all over the world. It was a comprehensive experience for the industry as the event covered key themes, including connectivity, data centres development, cybersecurity and cloud, which are essential to the industry’s growth.

Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019 – Plenary Hall

Kick-off

As the morning buzz around the entire expo area reached incredible decibels, the plenary session began with Vincent Liew, the Director of W.Media, who showed appreciation to OpenTec on their contribution to the convention.

Up next, the Guest of Honour Dr Yuttasart, the Vice President of CAT Telecom representing Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) delivered a short presentation addressing Thailand Government’s Initiatives to Drive Digitalisation in Thailand. MDES plays a crucial role in driving digitalisation in Thailand through its framework and plans of Thailand 4.0.

He further revealed current projects that depa and MDES have been developing such as Net Pracharat (Village Broadband Internet Project), Asean Digital Hub (International Network Infrastructure), Digital Park Thailand, GDCC (Government Data Center and Cloud Service), GBDi (Government Big Data Institute) and Smart Cities. The goal of the government is to have 100 Smart Cities in 70 provinces including Bangkok within the next two years.   

With regards to the newly released laws, Dr Yuttasart further explained on The Cybersecurity Act B.E. 2562 (2019) and Personal Data Protection Law B.E. 2562 (2019). The Cybersecurity Act aims to secure national security in cyberspace, governing both public and private sector databases and information. The Personal Data Protection Law aims to protect individual rights and personal data. PDPA came into effect since 28 May 2019 except for provisions under Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, and Sections 95 and 96, which are the operative provisions.  These operative provisions will come into force after a grace period of one year from the publication date, and that will be on 27 May 2020.

 

The debates

Unique to W.Media, the plenary hall commenced with an exciting debate. Opening Debate on “Is Thailand still apt to be the Connectivity Hub of Indochina?” was joined by Tanat Sangkasem, Chief Technology Officer of True Internet Data Center, Sean Bergin, Co-Founder & President of APTelecom, Wong Ka Vin Managing Director of DC1st, and Clement Goh, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres. The session was moderated by Toni Eid, Editor In Chief of Telecom Review International. 

Highlights

-Bergin mentioned that to be a good hub, 3 main things have to be present in a country or region, which would be good connectivity, good and friendly regulatory environment and also good market rate to encourage investment and people to be part of the hub.

-Sangkasem was confident that Thailand is ready to be the hub as they are officially launching 5G next year. He added that there is also enough manpower and space for Thailand to grow further as a hub among all other key players of the industry. 

-Goh and Bergin agreed that Singapore has been established as the Digital/Internet Hub of the region and due to that, traffic from Thailand still heads towards Singapore till it is redirected up north, thus increasing the latency time. 

-Goh highlighted that the most important part of being a hub would be being the coastal city for laying subsea cables which Thailand clearly is.

-Kavin contested with a different viewpoint that being a hub is no longer relevant as its importance has been superseded by becoming a mega city. Being a megacity creates interconnection between city thus placing Thailand in a good economic state. This alone would attract many key players to enter the Thailand marketplace. 

-The panel were divided in their opinions of whether Thailand’s technology landscape is suitable for OTT players to make Thailand as their primary location for their infrastructure and digital services for the region. Those who contested find that the current internet cost in Thailand is significantly higher than its ASEAN neighbours, causing it not to be the primary option. 

Opening debate session : From Left to Right – Toni Eid, CEO of Telecom Review, Sean Bergin, CO-Founder & President of APTelecom, Tanat Sangkasem, CTO of True Internet Data Center, Clement Goh, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centers (Asean), Wong Ka Vin, Managing Director of DC1st 

The plenary hall adjourned with a Closing debate “The new Cybersecurity Bill passed by the Thailand Government – beneficial or a threat?”, joined by Narudom Roongsiriwong, Senior Vice President and Head of IT Security of Kiatnakin Bank and member of CSA, Dr Tan Kian Hua, CISO of Insyghts Security Pte Ltd, Anthony Lim, Regional Principal Consultant of Fortinet and finally the Moderator: Supparat Sivapetchranat Singhara na Ayutthaya, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres Thailand. 

Highlights

-The moderator Supparat explained on the Cybersecurity Act by highlighting two key points. If there is any info or data deemed to be a threat, the government has an authority to request access to the particular data and hardware the organisation is using. Second, this act focuses on all industries and mainly on banking, logistics and key government industries. Everything other than retail will be under this act. 

-Similar act has been established in several ASEAN countries. The act can even be deemed as a necessary measure. Cybersecurity as a whole has no borders and it is good to see common defence action. 

-The panelists unanimously voted that malware would be the immediate threat that everyone needs to keep a lookout as they are capable of existing undetected for a long time while collecting data. Building the first line of defence by having a firewall and training the team to be more adept are essential steps of cybersecurity. 

The Expo – the cloud and data centre marketplace in Thailand

The expo started early at 8am with senior IT professionals enjoying a variety of the latest cloud and data centre technologies.

Technology showcase by TCC Technology Group

The technology bench in the expo featured 10 minute rapid-fire technology demonstrations and presentations during coffee breaks and lunch. Delegates learnt about various new technologies and innovations in a short space of time. 

Technology Bench and Private Workshop: 

Technology bench session by Mathias Wernitz from STULZ GmbH

The expo welcomed a new feature, the Plug-In DC, which was built up by SITEM, a renowned data centre engineering company in Thailand. The Plug-In DC featured modern innovations of a live data centre such as: 

1.Cold Aisle Containment system

2.Wireless Power & Environmental Monitoring system

3.Automatic airflow controls system

4.Water mist system for data center

5.Smart city management operating system

6.STULZ Nano DC and Micro Dc

Deeper engagement with the VIPs

An exclusive private luncheon welcomed the top 20 VIPs of Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019. Participants discussed about their upcoming data centre projects and learnt from the vast experience Schneider Electric has in data centre refurbishment and upgrades.

Schneider Electric Private Lunch Workshop by Abhay Ghosalkar, head data center application center of Schneider Electric

Finale

With strong beliefs in the importance of networking amongst senior IT professionals, W.Media concluded the inaugural Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Starline and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts contributed to the finale lucky draws, drawing the convention to a perfect end.

Ng Kim Yong, Regional Manager of Starline, presenting the Grand Draw of an Apple Watch to the winner

With that, W.Media completed its 2019 CDC series, with successful runs in S. Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. The calendar for 2020 CDC series has been launched with new location, the Philippines. Having travelled and conversed with senior professionals in the emerging markets, I can affirm that any business that is serious about expanding into these markets must invest significantly in building relationships and educating the marketplace. For further information, you may visit https://w.media/events/ or email partner@w.media. 

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