5G switch, digital literacy key tasks 

Economy August 16, 2017 01:00

By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
THE NATION

THE regulatory challenges of the existing and new broadcasting and telecom regulators range from how to usher Thailand into the wireless broadband 5G era to how to further promote digital literacy, said commissioners of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday.



NBTC vice chairman Settapong Malisuwan said the preparations for the country’s transition to the 5G wireless broadband era, from the 4G landscape, were a key challenge. He told a seminar that he expected to see trials of a 5G service this year or the next.

The six-year terms of the existing NBTC commissioners will end on October 6.

The NBTC’s development of the relevant regulations would have to be speeded up in order to keep pace with the fast- changing technologies in the sector, Settapong said.

The 5G technology and the uptake of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Thailand would bring tremendous changes to the country, he said in the NBTC seminar that covered the regulator’s oversight of the telecommunications industry’s development over the past six years. He noted that South Korea had announced the country was ready to launch commercial 5G services next year.

IoT refers to everyday physical objects connected to the Internet and which are in turn able to connect with other devices.

The NBTC is expected to enact the regulations governing IoT services in the next two months, Settapong added. The NBTC last month approved plans to hold public hearings on the three draft regulations related to the allocation of 920-925MHz for IoT use.

Telecom commissioner Prawit Leesatapornwongsa told the seminar that another major challenge for the NBTC was how to deal with the rising threats to cyber security, such as hacking, given that more and more IoT-compatible devices are becoming interconnected with one another.

He added that the NBTC would also focus more on promoting digital literacy among Thais and increase public awareness on the need for personal data protection. 

The NBTC has already coordinated with its regulatory peers in other sectors, such as the Bank of Thailand, on efforts to improve cyber security.

He warned that Thailand should not rely solely on any one single state agency alone to deal with cyber-security issues. Rather, coordination among all the related parties was required, given the increasing complexities of the issues, he said.

 

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