Thailand to launch 5G service at international airports next year

28, Nov. 2019

BANGKOK, VNA - Commercial 5G wireless broadband service will be launched at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports by May 2020 as the first sites for ultra-fast wireless internet adoption in the country.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Airports of Thailand on Nov 27 for collaboration to facilitate infrastructure preparation for mobile operators to deploy 5G networks at the airports.

The NBTC has announced that the 5G spectrum license auctions will be held on February 16, 2020. NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the 5G spectrum bidders will be pushed to consider the two airports as a first priority for 5G adoption, rather than the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which is not ready for 5G service among vertical industries.

Several use cases for 5G tech will be developed at the two airports, particularly in airport operations, ranging from face-recognition tech to smart security, from smart logistics to a smart hospital, as well as transport, he said.

The EEC project is a good location for 5G adoption to cater to vertical industries gearing up for innovation adoption and to new S-curve businesses, Takorn said, but “the two international airports will be the pioneer targets for adoption”.

Apart from the two airports, mobile operators could deploy 5G tech on the 2600MHz range at four major universities that will serve as 5G testbeds in collaboration with the NBTC. The four universities are now running the 5G testbed on the 26GHz range.

The NBTC plans to auction the 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2600MHz and 26-28GHz ranges meant for 5G networks in February next year. The NBTC is also in talks with the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to recall the 3400-3700MHz range for the second batch of 5G license auctions by 2020. - VNA