Thailand’s Economic Corridor will be the first to launch 5G in Southeast Asia
Published 13 January 2021
Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), will become the first special economic region in Southeast Asia to offer 5G telecommunications connectivity.
EEC Secretary General, Dr. Kanit Sangsubhan, revealed in a recent interview that 5G signals are already in place in the region, and the government is working with companies and local residents to develop the best 5G solutions.
“Half the area of the EEC will be covered by 5G by February 2021,” explained Dr. Kanit. The fifth generation wireless technology of 5G comes with higher speeds, lower latency and the ability to connect an unimaginable number of devices.
The EEC, stretching through South and East Bangkok, is a 13,000 square kilometer hub that is home to some of the largest global suppliers of tech products and services.
Developed in 2018, the EEC is responsible for accelerating Thailand’s digital economy strategy, known as Thailand 4.0, and aims to propel the country into developed nation status by 2035.
After 5G, the Thai government and private investors will then be spending $3.3 billion (100 billion baht) to construct a 220-kilometer high-speed train connecting the EEC with Bangkok’s two airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport.
In February 2020, both Advanced Wireless Network and True Move H Universal Communication won 2600-megahertz in a 5G spectrum license auction. By February 2021, the companies are required to provide 5G network coverage for at least 50% of the Eastern Economic Corridor which includes the provinces Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.
Deputy secretary general Sutisak Tantayotin told The Bangkok Post that the launch of 5G enabled headsets and compatible smartphones like the iPhone 12 also pushed the commission to speed things up.
“We found the combined 5G network roll-out by AWN and TUC covers more than 70 per cent of the EEC area,” he added.
In December, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, said that they are ahead of schedule for the 5G rollout. This move also needs to be seen in the backdrop of Thailand ranking fourth globally, when it comes to losing out on tourism revenue, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.