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Breakthrough Research in Lingzhi Mushroom Cultivation in Thailand

In Thailand, farmers are recognized as the country’s backbone. But the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Researchreports that 40 percent of Thai farmers live below the poverty line. Their economic and social development was a strong focus of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who established the Chaipattana Foundation in 1988 to develop practical solutions to benefit his people. With this goal in mind, the foundation’s Highland Agriculture Research and Development Project is now collaborating with dtac for a 5G “Internet of Things” solution set to enhance the cultivation of the lucrative lingzhi mushrooms. Agricultural Lab Anutra Wannaviroj, director of the Highland Agriculture Research and Development Project, says HRH Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn established the research center to develop agriculture in Thailand’s North. The Chinese government also provided investment in the form of products, machinery, personnel, plants, and technology transfers. Spanning 578 rai (231 acres) of land in Pong Nam Ron, in Chiang Mai, the project aims to train farmers and agricultural experts, making it the “agricultural lab” of the North. Ms. Anutra explains that the project’s operations are designed to match the geosocial context of the surrounding area. The project facilitates studies, experiments and the development of comprehensive organic-farming management…

When international tourism stopped, this retired Batik pioneer from Phuket went online to save local handicrafts

Phuket has now dropped all COVID-19 testing for international travelers and is fully open for tourism   Starting May 1, Thailand has lifted all COVID-19 testing and is reopened for fully vaccinated international tourists. A perennially popular destination such as Phuket is expected to see new waves of international travelers flying in, which will no doubt bring a much-needed economic boost to the so-called “Pearl of Andaman”. The island-province’s moniker isn’t just a reference to its picturesque location in the Andaman Sea, but also to its beautiful natural landscapes. With its powdery beaches and turquoise waters, Phuket sits comfortably among the world’s top destinations. Aside from its magnificent nature, Phuket is also culturally rich, with diverse influences from ethnic tribes, navigators, and foreign merchants who came to the Phuket during the Ayutthaya period. Simply put, Phuket is a melting pot – and batik is one if its many treasures. Origin of Phuket Batik Patcharee “Piew” Sangjan, 62, is a pensioner. But even before she retired from the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education as a senior-professional-level supervisor, she pioneered the art of batik-making in Phuket. Born in Nakhon Si Thammarat, she has had a passion for painting since she…

Chiang Rai senior entrepreneur goes digital to save her hilltribe clothing business and improve the rights of stateless people

In June 2018, the world fixated on Thailand’s mission to rescue the 12 Wild Boars footballers and their coach who went missing inside Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai. The cave became heavily flooded soon after the Wild Boars soccer team ventured in. They were trapped in the darkness, but were eventually safely rescued from the cave 18 days later, bringing an end to the operation dubbed “Thailand’s Miracle Cave Rescue”. But the rescue mission also shed light on a human rights issue, as three of the Wild Boars footballers and their 25-year-old coach were stateless ethnic minorities. Complex Challenges in Mae Sai Mae Sai district is located next to the Thai-Myanmar border. Before the pandemic and the 2021 Myanmar coup, it was a major border crossing, frequented by both Thai and Burmese merchants. The area is also home to stateless ethnic minorities who often face exposure to poverty, drugs, and human trafficking. “About 15 years ago, Mae Sae was a thriving border town with a high volume of investment and trade. But over time, we started witnessing problems like prostitution and illegal entries. Many men came to Mae Sai to earn a living as laborers while…

This Earth Day, Stay Connected While Enjoying a Low-Carbon Walk ‘N Ride Tour of Chanthaburi

20 April 2022 – It’s a hard truth, but nearly everything we do emits some volume of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which in turn contributes to climate change and global warming. For example, when we drive our car, we are responsible for approximately 2.3 kilograms of CO2 for every liter of petrol our car consumes. Powered by electricity, the digital realm is no different. As we surf the internet, our connectivity indirectly leads to power consumption and carbon emissions through our mobile networks. Even a quick minute-long call translates to 57 grams of CO2 emissions. dtac is working towards reducing our carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. This is a formidable goal, given that our mobile network is responsible for majority of the company’s net energy consumption, along with energy consumed by data and network centers. To cut our carbon emissions efficiently, we are leveraging a cross-functional approach utilizing data analytics, finance and deep telecom engineering to identify energy efficiency opportunities at cell sites. Consumption on such cell sites is directly optimized through a range of initiatives involving technical rectifications or even modernization of facilities, while working with different stakeholders (e.g. landlords, enterprises, authorities). in the process. We are also upgrading our base…

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Wikipedia mobilizes its power to ensure that content about Thai women will be on a par with the global level of equality

Although the world’s population is comprised of more women than men, a gender imbalance in digital content exists. In fact, content for women and from female content creators is significantly less than their male counterparts. According to Dr. Athikhun Suwannakhan, President of Wikimedia Thailand, an International Women's Day event (IWD), hosted on March 8 reflected the challenges faced by Wikipedia in correcting the gender imbalance around the world. Over 80% of content editors are male, thus resulting in biased content with a male-centric perspective. For instance, in Spain and Italy, content refers to women as the "wives" of men. This could convey the idea that men are “the owners" of their wives. Consequently, this implies that men are superior to women. The Wikimedia Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO in Thailand held an edit-a-thon on International Women's Day in 2019. Held under the banner and special hashtag #wiki4women a project titled “Women hidden from history”, the “Edit-a-thon" sought to raise awareness of women who are often overlooked or concealed from world history.  Volunteers collaborated on editorial projects that documented women and their stories through the translation of articles on Wikipedia, whilst also compiling information based on important (prominent) books and documents.…

How diversity and inclusion can foster inclusive innovation at dtac #BreakTheBias

Diversity is a key to driving successful business. Research shows diverse teams tend to outperform their peers and are more innovative. To celebrate diversity and International Women’s Day 2022, dtacblog spoke with our data scientists from dtac’s Technology Group to learn more about their experience as women working in the tech and mobile industry. Women in Tech Pailin Ittiwattanakul, Piyanuch Chaipornkaew, and Dr. Thida Pongsanguansin are members of the Data Analytics team of dtac’s Technology Group. Ms. Pailin’s key responsibility is analyzing data, while Ms. Piyanuch and Dr. Thida focus on developing machine learning models to detect any errors or abnormalities in the network to ensure timely responses and predict the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which measures customer satisfaction in network experience. These machine learning models allow the team to identify better and more accurate preventive measures. Aside from this, their team also harnesses the power of data gathered from cell sites nationwide to increase power consumption efficiency in the network operations, which will put dtac closer to its ambition to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. “Diverse teams enjoy a synergy of distinctive strengths among their members. For example, women are often perceived to be more detail-oriented and…

Can technology make us love in-store shopping all over again?

Pushed by COVID-19, Thai consumers are embracing online shopping for much more than just electronics, fashion or beauty products. Be it a latte or a sofa, anything can now be delivered at one’s home in just a few taps. But where does that leave physical retail? To find out, dtacblog spoke to Raewat Tankittikorn, the head of dtac’s Channel Excellence division. Mr. Raewat leads a team of experts reinventing the in-store experience for consumers. By using data-driven AI and automation, dtac is making shopping in real life as smooth, personalized and fast as buying from an app. “Today, dtac shops are completely paperless. You can get a new SIM in minutes without filling out any forms or making any copies of your ID. It used to take 10 times more time and leave a paper trail that put customers’ identity at risk. And this is just the beginning, we’re continually improving the in-store experience by making it more digital,” he tells us. At the very start of the pandemic, from January to June 2020, dtac recorded a fivefold increase in the redemption of online shopping privileges within the dtac app. Meanwhile, data usage in city centers dropped as office employees…

dtac’s Green Transition Harnesses Sunlight for Mobile Communications

In 2021, dtac announced the goal of reducing by 50 percent its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. One of the key strategies in pursuit of this goal is to achieve energy efficiency through a transition to clean energy. According to dtac’s data, its provision of network services has accounted for more than 99 percent of its energy consumption. Its network includes tens of thousands of cell sites across Thailand. So, for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, dtac has prioritized its shift towards solar powered cell sites. dtacblog spoke to Weratuch Witoonchart, Head of Data Analytics, and Chumnan Theamnooch from the Coverage and Infrastructure Planning team, who are spearheading this transition. Solar Powered Network Mr. Chumnan revealed that dtac has operated solar-powered cell sites for more than 10 years already but most of these sites were located in areas without electricity. In recent years, dtac’s focus on energy efficiency has grown significantly to pursue environmental goals. Hence, there is renewed interest in renewable energy solutions. To overcome the challenges they pose in terms of investments and engineering, Mr. Chumnan with dtac’s data-analytics team to design the best possible strategy for dtac’s green transition. “Speaking of engineering, every solar-powered cell site needs a…

This small village in northern Thailand uses online marketing to fight off drug problems

Each year in January in Ban Nong Khiao, located in Chiang Mai, next to the Thai-Myanmar border, hundreds of villagers don meticulously embroidered clothes and intricate ornaments. They gather at the village square to celebrate the Lahu New Year festival for 12 consecutive days. The Lahu people, also known as the Muser hill tribe, perform a dance called Cha Kue to express gratitude to their deities and eat Khao Puk, steamed black sticky rice mixed with sesame.Unfortunately, the Lahu community often faces poverty and exposure to drug traffickers who must cross the borders they occupy. Ban Nong Khiao is therefore considered one of Thailand’s red zones for drug trafficking. Complex Social Problems “Ninety five percent of the people here are farmers, but because of plunging crop prices and rising farming expenses, they face insecure livelihoods and unstable income,” Marisa Jitbunpot, officer at Plan International Thailand, said.Due to financial struggles, many Lahu men are induced into joining drug-trafficking gangs while many women fall victim of human trafficking. “When considering the overall picture, it became clear that improving the quality of life of the villagers is only possible if people are empowered to stand on their own feet,” Ms. Marisa explained. “Through…

20 years of serving customers with heart-to-heart communication

“Hello. Thank you for calling dtac call center. This is Sudatip Sangsueb speaking. How may I help you?” Many dtac customers may be familiar with this greeting phrase from the call center team who works tirelessly to ensure best customer service experience 24/7. But behind their beautiful and soothing voices, most of the time they are working under pressure. dtacblog spoke with Sudatip Sangsueb from the dtac customer service team to find out more about her two-decade journey at dtac, her customer service philosophy, and post-pandemic challenges call center agents encounter. A former aquatic science student Ms. Sudatip studied aquatic science in college. After her graduation, she came across a job ad for a customer service position at dtac, and she decided to give it a try. She has been working at dtac ever since. During the recruitment process for customer service agents, candidates must go through a round of pre-employment screening where interviews are being conducted via a phone call to assess their aptitude and communication skills. Once they are hired, the new recruits will receive about 100 hours of training to learn more about the company’s products and services: price plans, billing systems, network technology and more. This…