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Look into Frontliners’ Lives: How dtac Engineers Work Behind the Scenes during Flood Crisis

Floods have been raging in Thailand’s Central region for nearly two months now. According to the National Water Command, accumulated rainfall has been 21 per cent higher than average during the period because of three storms: Mulan, Ma-On and Noru, plus low-pressure ridges. As the Chao Phraya River overflows, run-offs spread through its western fields to Chainat, Sing Buri, Angthong and Ayutthaya alike.  Kanokporn Thongprasert, a 56-year-old villager in Ayutthaya’s Paniad Klong Chang Community, told dtacblog that even though her community had been inundated every year, this time floods were more serious – even when compared with 2011 big floods. Now, floodwaters are about two metersdeep. In other words, the first floor of her house is completely swamped. Worse still, in previous years inundation used to subside within weeks. But this year, floods have persisted for about two months already.“Floods are quite common in Ayutthaya. But during the past two years, floods have become a real crisis because the floodwater level is higher and floods drag on longer,” Kanokporn lamented. In the face of severer flooding, Kanokporn has lost her income. She usually works at Klang Klong Sa Bua Temple, which has received fewer financial donations lately. Monks cannot go…

Biodiversity Means National Security: What lies inside the National Biobank’s Vault

Through a joint research project between dtac, NECTEC and Chaipattana Foundation, Lingzhi mushrooms herald massive benefits for Thailand’s future Thailand ranks among the world’s richest countries in terms of biodiversity. In ASEAN, it is the third-most biodiverse. Around 10% of the world’s fauna species can be found here, as well as 8% of all flora species. In fact, at least 20,000 plant types are known to grow on Thai soil. But during the past five decades, the rate of species extinction has been hundreds of times higher than the rate of species discovery. This net loss is due to human encroachment, habitat loss, natural disasters and climate change. Recognizing this problem, dtacblog spoke to Sissades Thongsima, CEO of the National Biobank of Thailand. His agency is in charge of protecting what he likes to call “the country’s bio-security.” National Infrastructure for Biodiversity Dr. Sissades said that the biodiversity of fauna/flora species and microorganisms has historically been one of Thailand’s strengths. Such diversity is a precious resource that can be utilized for economic purposes. However, even Thailand’s level of abundance is exhaustible. Aware of this fact, the Thai government in 2018 approved a budget of roughly THB 800 million for the…

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…

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…

The long road to zero-carbon phone calls

dtac’s Head of Technology Strategy calls for innovation in data, energy tech and policy to reach telecoms industry climate goals. After 13 days of intense negotiations, COP26 UN Climate Change Conference concluded on November 13 with almost 200 countries agreeing on the Glasgow Climate Pact. The declaration significantly ramps up the call for greater action and financing for adaptation to pursue efforts to stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2050. In parallel, the GSMA board, on which sits the largest mobile network operators in the world, set a milestone to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To reach that objective, dtac has set its own goal of halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. dtacblog spoke to Navneet Nayan, Head of Technology Strategy & Service Management at dtac to better understand what it will take for dtac to reach its targets, and how the telecoms industry can rethink operations for resilience and sustainability. Everyone is an Emitter Telcos are energy intensive, with two to three percent of global consumption, according to GSMA. The mobile industry is therefore a relatively small, but growing, contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. End users consume about half of that energy with…

Thailand’s Most Instagram-able Fishing Village Goes Digital

Samaesan is a picturesque seaside village almost halfway between Bangkok and Thailand’s frontier with Cambodia. Its score of long piers is sheltered behind a sprinkling of verdant islands, allowing for particularly calm and crystalline waters. This ideal location has long attracted vibrantly colored fishing boats, which will drop off the night’s catch at daybreak for eager buyers to haggle over. But behind the postcard appearances, Samaesan’s fishing crews also face many challenges such as stringent export regulations and a scarcity of labor. A few enterprising locals thus turned to hosting the occasional diving and fishing trips to supplement their incomes. But it wasn’t until the eruption of social media that Samaesan started to take off as a hotspot for nature-starve Bangkokians. Instrumental to this transformation is Umnat Chuanak. Although born in Samaesan, Mr. Umnat worked for 15 years as an engineer before fully committing himself to running a homestay, Yaya Malee Resort & Snorkeling. “I always loved to come home. Even when I was an engineer, I’d come back here between jobs. But I thought that even if I ever got to realize my dream of having a homestay here, it would just be four rooms for friends,” he told…

dtac breaks isolation of village in Lampang

Lack of connectivity in Ban Mai Samakki Village became unbearable with COVID-19. Then dtac stepped in. The Ban Mai Samakki community was established in 2003 in Thailand’s Northern province of Lampang. But until September 2021, it had neither landline nor cell phone coverage. As COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation in Thailand, the community’s lack of connectivity turned into a full-blown crisis. With schools closed, children walked two kilometers every day to catch the nearest mobile signal and connect with their teachers online. The threat of being unable to make an emergency call without making a 40-min hike also became increasingly risky in the midst of a pandemic. Supud Rala, is the village headman of Ban Mai Samakki, a community of 495 persons, most of them maize farmers. “We sell our crops while raising chicken and pigs for our own consumption. Women also make additional income from handcrafted bags, scarves, and skirts. All our water comes from the river, wells and rainwater. We didn’t even have electricity until 2016,” he said. Communication is a key issue in this community, rendering it virtually cut off from the outside world. The closest mobile phone signal can be found on a ridge about 2 km…

dtac’s 5G journey to deliver high-speed internet for all

dtac pioneered industry use cases on 26GHz 5G, developing solutions for smart farming, logistics, energy management and many more. Since it acquired a license for the 700 MHz band on 24 December 2020, dtac has also been ramping up the rollout of its low-band network to bring high-speed internet to customers across Thailand. As the mobile operator continues to expand its network to boost its customers’ mobile experience and introduces 5G services in major cities, we spoke to the people behind the scenes to learn more about dtac’s strategy to deliver high-speed internet for all and the commercial launch of dtac 5G.. The Coverage Layer “Low-band spectrum covers a wide area. It is perfect to bring additional coverage to rural and indoor areas. Taking into account the benefits of 700 MHz, dtac decided to use this spectrum to expand its 4G services across the country and develop 5G services in high-traffic areas,” Dr. Ukrit Salyapongs, Head of Commercial Strategy, Planning and Insights, dtac, said. dtac also designs its 5G network expansion strategy based on predictive analytics, which look into customers’ behaviors and past trends including smartphone replacement cycle, user demographics, and usage location. The mobile operator forecasts that in Thailand…

5G IoT Boosts Smart Water Management

The World Resources Institute predicts that climate change and floods could cost 17 trillion USD (approximately 511 trillion Baht) to world economies by the year 2030. The impact of climate change causes more severe droughts which impact industries worldwide, especially water-intensive industries. Without robust water management or a lack of wastewater recycling, a shortage of water could be inevitable. Water is an essential resource in manufacturing industries and is used in many forms, the first of which is raw water - the basis for producing processed water. Highly refined demineralized water is used in many industries including power generation, petrochemicals, electronics, and food. Water used in manufacturing processes is called wastewater and needs to go through wastewater treatment as per the Industry Ministry standard. Wastewater standards include conditions such as pH levels in the range of 5.5 – 9.0, a temperature of no more than 40 Celsius, and chemical contamination within standard parameters. Droughts can cause factories to reduce their water use and impact the water pH level. Keeping wastewater within standards requires high-precision recycling treatments. A study revealed that the wastewater treatment industry has been growing by more than 10% per year.* Wastewater Reclamation for Sustainable Water Resources in…

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Inspects the 5G Smart Farmer Exhibition

On 3 November 2020, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn recently presided over the opening of the Intelligent Operation Center at the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation, Wangchan Valley Project (EECi @ Wangchan Valley Project) and inspected the progress of the project. Upon this occasion, Princess Sirindhorn also inspected the exhibitions of various agencies including that of dtac. Mr. Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of Total Access Communication PCL or dtac, was honored to welcome Princess Sirindhorn to dtac’s exhibition and presented how the 5G IoT Smart Farmer solution can lift Thai agriculture. The event took place at the Intelligent Operation Center of PTT’s EECi @ Wangchan Valley Project in Rayong Province. The dtac 5G Smart Farmer solution features smart meters, AI-enabled smart cameras and remotely operated drones. Developed in partnership with Ericsson (Thailand) Ltd., Setha Mongkol 2007 (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Dynamic Intelligence Asia Co., Ltd. and VST ECS Co., Ltd., these tools can increase yields and reduce costs for Thai farmers.