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New behaviors to thrive in the new normal

This is a guest post from Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of dtac. These are confusing times. No one knows exactly when lockdowns will be fully lifted or how long the economy will take to recover. Rather than attempt to divine or control the unknowable, I believe now is a good time to focus on what is within our control: our own behaviors. dtac just introduced four new behaviors to guide us in the new normal. They perfectly respond to the uncertainty and rapid pace of change that the COVID-19 outbreak has thrust upon us. This is not a time to retreat, to stop innovating or to work in isolation. On the contrary, we believe now is the time to always explore, create together, keep promises and be respectful. ALWAYS EXPLORE What we see: After the declaration of emergency, dtac saw immediate changes in the usage patterns of our customers. Productivity apps like Zoom and Microsoft Office grew by triple digits. And high-traffic areas for internet usage shifted from office centers in central Bangkok to residential zones further afield. While some emergency measures are now being relaxed, we expect remote work and a more rapid adoption of digital channels to stay. In…

How to manage stress and maintain positive energy during COVID-19?

During the unprecedented time of COVID-19, people are more concerned about their physical health to prevent infections – using face masks, cleaning hands often with soap or hand sanitizer. Besides, people are unconsciously suffering mental health problems with fear, stress and anxiety. According to data from the department of mental health, it showed that around 73.91% of Thais have moderate mental health problems, followed by mild illness at 20.37% and severe level at 5.72%. The survey was made weekly between Mar 24 and May 24 with 1,500 respondents. Additionally, Thailand are facing the growing trend of suicide rates, increasing from 6.03 from 2018 to 6.64 in late last year. (The figure is per 100,000 people) Those numbers flag an urgency of how people to cope with mental health crisis during this tough time. In an interview, Pichai Ittasakul, the secretary general at The Psychiatric Association of Thailand (PAT), discusses about the current situation of mental health, symptoms development of mental illness and how to develop and maintain positive energy during COVID-19 time. How is the current situation of Thais’ mental health? The increasing numbers of news reports about suicidal incidents during this unprecedented time can identify the rise of mental…

Connectivity’s role in fighting COVID-19

As the global tally for declared COVID-19 cases nears six million, Thailand has emerged relatively unscathed. Credit is being given to a public health strategy that effectively coordinated medical workers and the cutting-edge technology. dtac bloghad spoke to two key players at the Department of Disease Control (DDC), the main government agency in flattening the curve: Thanarak Plipat, its deputy chief, and Phathai Singkham, Head of Disease Prevention and Health Innovation Center. The mission to flatten the curve Thanarak Plipat said the public health strategy to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 rests on four pillars: prevention, surveillance, treatment and control. Prevention involves mitigating the virus’s spread by encouraging adequate hygiene  such as frequently washing hands with water and soap, wearing a face mask, avoiding groups of people, eating hot food and using serving spoons for shared dishes. The information campaigns were targeted even more intensively in workers housing, migrant communities and elderly hospices. Surveillance is the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of health data for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs. This also includes active surveillance, which involves monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease in order to establish the patterns of disease…

dtac’s virtual CEO breakfasts aim to reinvent digital experiences in the new normal

With video conferencing replacing face-to-face meetings, dtac CEO Sharad Mehrotra has been hosting virtual breakfasts to restore a bit of warmth and humanity to business proceedings. His first virtual breakfasts welcomed the teams working on the dtac app and on Jaidee services. Fittingly, they discussed the changing nature of digital channels in the new normal. dtacblog joined the breakfast sessions to get an inside view on where dtac customers are headed in the COVID-19 era. On the first virtual breakfast, Mr. Mehrotra was tucking into a plate of fresh fruit while the Jaidee team sipped coffee he had delivered to their home. “Prepaid users are traditionally considered less digitally-savvy than their postpaid counterparts, but that’s becoming less true. Being digital is a question of survival in this economic situation,” said Nussaraporn Sumretphol, Head of the Value Creation Unit. “What we’re seeing is that even when money is tight, we have prepaid customers choosing unlimited internet, even if it is capped at 128kpbs, to have access to LINE messenger. It goes beyond entertainment. You can’t find work or connect with customers if you don’t have internet. And we offer it to them for just a few baht a day.” That view…

dtac launches online learning platform to build children’s digital resilience

June 2, 2020 - dtac is boosting children’s immunity to online threats through a new e-learning platform titled "Class for Super Kids,” which offers tutorials on technologies such as artificial intelligence or data visualization, in addition to building up their understanding of online threats. The Class for Super Kids – which launched today - is focused on creating responsible netizens while ensuring they can safely benefit from new technologies. After registering at learn.safeinternet.camp, children can access eight classes which last roughly one hour each. They can study at their own pace. The project is part of dtac’s Safe Internet mission, now in its fifth year. For 2020, the Safe Internet project is focusing on respecting sexual diversity, in response to a rise in online bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth, 80 percent of whom have reported that they have been victims of bullying. On-Uma Vattanasuk Rerkpattanapipat, dtac’s Head of Communication & Sustainability, said, “The Class for Super Kids project is designed to give knowledge and skills that aren’t currently taught in school. These skills are essential for children and teens, given that they spend nine hours or more on the online world on average.” With these…

Meet these dtac Heroes in the fight against COVID-19

A meaningful life on daily operation at dtac The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on the economy and our way of life, but it has also unveiled the bright side of humanity. We have witnessed tireless efforts from healthcare workers and the full support of populations the world over to their frontline fighters. At dtac, empowering societies by connecting our customers to what matters most has been the core of our business for more than 30 years. Internet connectivity impacts nearly every part of our lives, and we believe in making it personalized and relevant for our customers. With the #dtacHeroes series, we are featuring dtac employees who work on the frontline of connectivity to stand beside our customers. Previously, we featured Wasan Chanplab, who gave his all to to keep doctors and patients connected at Siriraj Hospital and Chinthanadit Pornsirikiat, who is supporting Thai businesses at this critical time. Next, we met Sunisa Sakephon, a dtac call center agent bridging the gap between patients with chronic diseases and clinicians from Siriraj Hospital. Her mission is called “dtac fights back against COVID-19”. Humanitarian mission “It’s a humanitarian mission as a part of a series of dtac’s social contributions…

Our ultimate #SaveStreetFood pick: the authentic Chinese flavors of Hokkee Pochana

It has been more than two months after the spread of the novel coronavirus entered to Thailand, resulting in the government’s lockdown and social distancing measures. Restaurants and street food stalls are among those who got affected economically. We have seen a lot of business adaptation to survive. But one thing that still remains in their hearts is delivering happiness through food. dtac, as a member of the Samyan neighborhood’s community, is fulfilling our mission to connect people to what matters most by featuring the area’s most delicious foodie spots in the series #SaveStreetFood throughout May. And the last episode goes to the legendary Chinese shophouse restaurant, Hokkee Pochana. What makes this 40-year old-fashion eatery become famous is the aromatic five spice goose or Haan Phalo. Malida Mongkholchaiwiwat, the owner of Hokkee Pochana, told dtac blog: “The restaurant is founded by my dad, Hong-Ieng Sae-Low. His job is a chef in Chinese restaurant in Shan Tou City, a coastal city along South China sea. When he sought migration to Thailand in 18th century, he brought his Chinese culinary skills to survive in Thailand as a fish maw soup hawker. A few years later, he found a good location to operate…

Jeh Na kitchen: Sea to table freshness at affordable prices

Samyan is a century-old community of Thai Chinese in central Bangkok. One of the neighborhood’s iconic landmarks is Samyan fresh market, which has been here for four decades at one of the busiest roads in Bangkok. Given the area’s gentrification, Samyan market has been relocated next to Chulalongkorn stadium. The two-story market features a great selection of tropical fruits and fresh seafood produces at affordable prices. It is normally vibrant with crowds of students and office workers in the afternoon and evening, emerging a wide range of renowned dishes, such as a huge portions thick bacon in Thai style and Pad Muen Li (stir-fried glass noodles with a mix of seafood and Thai kales seasoned by chili oil). This reinforces its position as a food heaven. One of the most renowned restaurants here is “Jeh Na kitchen” which means Big sister. It has been with Samyan market for more than 40 years since the establishment of the market. Hiran Ahikiat or Mhee, a founder of Jeh Na kitchen told dtac blog that: “I’ve been deeply associated with since I was born closed to the estuaries of the Chao Phraya River. I helped my dad prepare live edible crabs for sale.…

Keeping business connected to customers and employees despite COVID-19

The COVID-19 epidemic has had a devastating impact on businesses. Tourism must contend with a near-total travel ban. Global logistics have been disrupted by lockdown measures. Shopping malls and restaurants have faced weeks-long closures. And consumer confidence is at a record low. With thousands of small, medium and large enterprise clients, dtac has seen firsthand the many struggles businesses must face during this difficult time. In dtac’s Business Group, Chinthanadit Pornsirikiat, an assistant manager, has a client portfolio of around 100 clients in a wide range of sectors, and all were affected. BETTER DIGITAL SERVICES “My first impulse was to reach out and ask them how they were coping with the situation. While we’re practicing social distancing and remote working, staying connected is so important. We should keep them connected. It goes beyond provider-client relationships. We go through good times and bad times together and we’ll survive together,” he said. Indeed, many businesses rely on direct contact and dtac’s shops for service—many of which were shutdown throughout March and April. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 80 percent of customers relied on shops to make payments. With the support of people like Mr. Chinthanadit, business owners quickly discovered other channels could be equally,…

dtac receives further confirmation of fastest download speeds

dtac has been topping download speed tests and beating out competitors for a year now, as per numerous news reports relaying independent network performance companies’ measurements. Starting with Opensignal in its May 2019 report, dtac was also named fastest network by nPerf in July 2019, followed by an overall win across three out of five categories from Tutela in February 2020. This week, it was reported dtac once again clinched Thailand’s fastest download speeds in the Opensignal Mobile Network Experience for January-March 2020. Referring to the report, it was quoted that devices recorded average 4G download speeds of 11.4 Mbps on dtac’s network. This underscores that dtac’s record rollout of high-band sites has dramatically improved the customer experience. This year, ultra-high-speed massive MIMO technology at high-traffic locations nationwide and thousands of additional sites on the 2300MHz partnership spectrum are expected to provide all customers with even better coverage and triple dtac’s data capacity. This will improve the network experience for all customers, no matter which device they use. dtac’s total number of high-capacity TDD sites is expected to amount to over 20,000 by yearend. Over the past three years, dtac increased its number of sites by over 60%. At the…