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Telecommunications sector 'ready' for capital shutdown

Mobile operators, Internet service providers and Internet data centre providers have said their communication infrastructures are ready to cope with the Bangkok shutdown next week.

Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication, and True Group, have confirmed their networks would be available and adequately support voice and mobile Internet communication.

AIS' senior vice president for public relations, Wilai Keangpradoo, said AIS had prepared a business continuity plan covering communications network and services, staff, and its node centres.

AIS has increased bandwidth capacity at the nodes located at and near the major rally sites such as the main junctions and the places of gathering. Its engineer teams would be on standby 24 hours and be ready to work with remote access from anywhere. It has also geared up its services such as online customer service and call centre to serve customers as usual.

AIS is deploying at least 60 per cent of total staff to take care of the touch points of service at locations affected by the march. However, the company would take into account the security of its staff first. Back office staff would be allowed to work remotely.

AIS has also prepared its security staff to be on 24 hours standby together with access control technology.

"The company has a dedicated channel for communication with our staff 24 hours to react to the latest updates on the situation," said Wilai.

Panya Vechbanyongratana, senior vice president of Network Operations Division at Total Access Communication (DTAC), said DTAC has a continuity plan to ensure normal services during the shutdown, both communication network and services. It plans to increase the number of staff taking care of the network and services during the situation, including increasing network capacity in the high-density areas and the backup centres as a whole.

"We have a dedicated team to monitor the traffic and we're ready to increase the capability along with the increased demands at all areas, to ensure customers can communicate via voice and data as usual," said Panya.

True Corporation also has backup plans for its mobile network, Internet network, and its data centre services during the planned shutdown. It has assured it will provide communication services, mobile voice, mobile Internet, broadband Internet at home, and Internet data centres as usual, irrespective of the situation in Bangkok.

True Move H is increasing its capacity by adding bandwidth network equipment. It checked its node equipments and backup power supply. It is prepared to staff 24-hour operations at the sites.

True Online is also ready to offer 24 hours Internet and call centre services.

True's Internet data centre is another key area with confirmed readiness, including a backup and business continuity plan in order to make the service available at all times as usual.

INET director Morragot Kulatumyotin said the situation next week might affect Internet services, but INET has a business continuity plan to guarantee continuous service to its customers.

INET has several domestic and international networks that can back up in case of redundancy. Moreover, INET also has devised an emergency plan to ensure its network and services would be continue as usual, including in the event of a power supply disruption. INET has lined up backup generators to supply power to its Internet data centre and Internet network.

"We also have dedicated engineer teams to operate 24 hours and to provide service to customers in case a problem occurs anytime, every day. We have already deployed our special teams for the plan," said Morragot.


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