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Technology tapped in battle for edge in telecoms sector

MAJOR private and state telecommunications operators have deployed advanced technologies to strengthen their operations and to help their partners in other sectors pursue digital transformation.

Total Access Communication (DTAC) has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance its competitive edge.
“Machine learning and AI can unlock formidable potential to better serve our customers. We’ve fully embraced their use for online marketing and have begun testing AI for customer care chatbots,” DTAC’s head of digital sales and services, Piero Trivellato, has said recently.
The company has also used machine learning to determine which call package best matches an individual customer’s usage.
“This isn’t just calculated by a static algorithm. The machine learns from which packages our customers choose and their subsequent usage –allowing it to continuously refine the offer,” Trivellato said. “It means you don’t have to worry about analysing 20 different packages before picking the best one.
“Simplification is a first step, but in the near future, we think machine learning will be able to deliver completely new functionalities to our customers.”
According to DTAC's chief corporate affair Rajiv Bawa, the IoT will be a critical technology in the development of the Thailand 4.0 policy.
“For telcos, it’s also a huge technological challenge. 
“The number of connected devices in Thailand may double by 2020 as IoT becomes widespread, and that calls for much more advanced networks than those in use today,” Bawa said.
He said that DTAC was among the first global telecom operators to roll out a virtualised core network, which was recently launched on a trial basis, to allow it to scale network capacity much more rapidly and efficiently.
DTAC has also helped some farmers to adopt the advanced technologies, such as IoT, to enhance their production capacity.
“We also support farmers wishing to digitalise their farms through the SmartFarmer project. We currently have 30 pilot farms using IoT technology. 
“There are over 4,000 farmers in the SmartFarmer training programme, so the potential for IoT in 2018 is really exciting,” Bawa said.
True Corp is another telecom operator that is using advancing technology solutions to serve other sectors, ranging from home automation to smart transport solutions, said Dr Natthakrit Sanguandikul, True's assistant director, commercial, digital and media platform, Internet of Things (IoT) department.
Mobile phone operator TrueMove H and financial technology (fintech) company TrueMoney last month announced their first collaboration with Suvarnabhumi Taxi Cooperative to upgrade taxi services in Bangkok under the concept of “Smart Transportation 4.0” – meshing with the government’s Thailand 4.0 vision.
The partners will start their cooperation in early 2018 by offering “Car Wi-Fi” by TrueMove H, with what they claim is the most reliable Net SIM. This has enabled the development of an IOT SIM that passengers will be able to use in around 4,000 member taxis and which will also let them pay their fares through the TrueMoney Wallet. Passengers will also enjoy the “Entertainment in Car” service from True ID, a one-stop application for a variety of content.
Suvarnabhumi Taxi Cooperative has 15,000 taxi members and partners across Bangkok and the metropolitan area. 
At Advanced Info Service (AIS), it has utilised AI to provide customer services, such as the Ask Aunjai virtual assistant agent.
AIS acting chief consumer business officer Pratthana Leelapanang has said that AIS has also deployed its narrow-band IoT platform and network to support its business partners' operations. One example is its use of the platform and network to support Mobike, the bike-sharing service operator, to manage the service at Kasetsart University. 
Meanwhile, CAT Telecom has recently shifted its business to digital services and to focus on developing a long-range wide-area network (LoRaWan) to support an IoT platform and a smart city platform.
The state agency has laid down a LoRaWan in Phuket as a pilot site in support of Phuket smart city plans in various services such as global positioning tracking (GPS tracking) and smart logistics. It is also planning to lay down LoRaWans in 2018 to cover other major provinces, so that it can provide IoT platforms, new services and digital solutions to the commercial market.
Moreover, it will work together with business partners to provide new digital services such as providing AI solutions and |services designed to support marketing tools, data analytics, smart home solutions and home network solutions to the |market.
CAT in late 2017 signed with PTT memorandums of understanding for cooperation on the development of digital innovation. CAT president Colonel Sanpachai Huvanandana has said that the cooperation marks an important step in moving the Kingdom’s economy forward, in accordance with the government’s Thailand 4.0 agenda.
Last month CAT also signed with Chachoengsao province to jointly develop the Chachoengsao Smart City project. In the initial phase, both parties will set up the joint working panel to design the framework of the project. CAT will study and design the digital solutions for developing the smart city for Chachoengsao. It will also provide a communications network and broadband Internet network to the province.

Published : January 02, 2018