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Thailand to roll out IoT network in April 2017

The country's first IoT network will offer location tracking, smart metering and smart street lighting services in Phuket and Bangkok

Residents and visitors in Thailand can look forward to a slew of new digital services when an internet of things (IoT) network is rolled out in April 2017.

The long-range IoT network, one of the first commercial deployments of its kind in Southeast Asia, would be built by South Koreas SK Telecom and Thailand’s CAT Telecom, a state-owned telecommunications service provider.

Under the contract signed by the two operators early this week, the IoT network will be available in central areas of Bangkok and the Phuket province.

In Phuket, which has been earmarked as Thailands first smart city, SK Telecom and CAT Telecom will launch a vehicle location tracking service, followed by smart metering and smart street lighting services.

In the central areas of Bangkok, tourists can look forward to an IoT-based location tracking service, which is expected to prevent people – especially children and the elderly – from going missing near the Grand Palace, where a large number of visitors are paying their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“Through collaboration with SK Telecom, CAT Telecom will be able to successfully carry out the government project,” said Sanpachai Huvanandana, chief executive officer of CAT Telecom, adding that CAT Telecom will work with SK Telecom to deliver its first IoT service in Thailand.

“SK Telecom will contribute to the growth of the ICT industry in Thailand by working together with CAT Telecom in the area of IoT, while nurturing a new ICT ecosystem by cooperating with many related companies,” said Cha In-hyok, executive vice-president and head of IoT business division at SK Telecom.

Read more about IoT in Asean

While interest in IoT has been brewing in Southeast Asia, most deployments are in their infancy. The cost of rolling out IoT remains a challenge, which can be overcome if organisations use lower-cost cloud-based applications and platforms to increase their ability to expand IoT applications into more aspects of their business.

According to analyst firm Frost and Sullivan, IoT spending in the region is expected to grow by 35%, from $1.68bn in 2015 to US$7.53bn in 2020.

Read more on Information technology (IT) in ASEAN