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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…

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…

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…

dtac CEO: “Supporting Thailand in the New Normal”

Dear customers, The threat of COVID-19 infections will end one day, although it will be many months. Even so, we are in a new normal that is here to stay no matter what: Digital channels will grow even more quickly than we had anticipated. Certain forms of social distancing measures will remain indefinitely. Recovering from the COVID-19’s economic impact will take a long time. Change is always scary but dtac responded to the COVID-19 situation quickly and effectively. And we will continue to do so. DIGITAL CHANNELS In March, dtac saw an explosion in the use of productivity apps like Zoom and Office 365. Usage of the dtac app also grew by 30 percent since the emergency decree, while daily user on dtac.co.th increased by 40% for the same period (March 25-April 23). We supported these changes with numerous measures for our customers: New packages with free data on productivity apps that are essential to Thailand’s economy. Incentives for new users of the dtac app, such as free data. Contingency measures to both maintain and continue developing our network. On the last point, dtac can continue to operate its Network Operation Center even if our headquarters were shut down. (In…

Network field operations: the COVID-19 outbreak’s other frontline

Mobile service operators have been classified as essential services by the government and ordered to maintain uninterrupted services. To do this, network operations teams must continue to work in the field, including within the hospitals fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. We spoke to dtac’s technicians and engineers about maintaining essential services in a country in partial lockdown. “Am I scared of getting COVID-19? Yes, I am. We all are. But to keep customers connected, duty comes first. Connectivity has never been more important than during this crisis. We have a responsibility to maintain network operations as usual. I know it’s risky, but what I’m doing to keep customers connected is deeply rooted in my heart and I trust dtac’s preventive measures to keep us safe,” said Wasan Chanplab, Head of Field Network Operations BMA at dtac. Wasan Chanplab, Head of Field Network Operations BMA at dtac Social distancing has deeply transformed network operations. First, it has pushed customers towards video conferencing, thereby increasing the network load. Secondly, it has moved the bulk of internet traffic from business districts to residential areas. Thirdly, it has made accessing network sites more difficult, due to various shutdown measures. “We have a solid plan in…

The dtac app aims to make COVID-19 social distancing measures a rewarding experience

Every month, 1.4 million people visit dtac’s shops. But with the spread of COVID-19, social distancing and partial lockdown measures have been introduced to control its spread. Hundreds of dtac shops and retail points are now closed across the country. And customers who were accustomed to having sales agents assist them with routine operations such as bill payments and top ups, must now turn to digital channels. One such channel is the dtac app. And the team behind it isn’t satisfied with making it only an emergency alternative to shops. Instead, their ambition is to make an app that unlocks a whole new customer experience. Compelling customer experiences with personalization “Did you know that the main page of dtac app displays differently for each of customers?” asks Panthep Nilasinthop, Head of Digital B2C and Platform Division at dtac. He oversees digital channels across all platforms. He defines the dtac app as the “preferred channel” because more than 90% of dtac customers own a smartphone. You can manage your services and payments, get help, check for outages and track orders – all while you’re at home. “From the first day of the development of dtac app, it has been evolving from…

7 ways to stay safe from the cybercriminals exploiting COVID-19

There is a surge in criminal activity by hackers and fraudsters exploiting our fears about COVID-19. Cybercriminals are impersonating the World Health Organization and critical national authorities to conduct fraud and phishing or spread fake information. Prathet Tankuranun, Chief Technology Officer, dtac, said: “It’s important to be extra cautious of cybercriminals right now. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Europol have both warned against a rise in attacks that prey on fears of COVID-19. In Thailand, the government has also issued an emergency decree with harsh penalties for sharing false information online. But ultimately, you are best positioned to protect yourself if you learn to spot the telltale signs of a cybercriminal.” Here are seven tips from the security experts at dtac to help you stay safe. Only trust information from verified sources. Follow news from reliable media sources rather than rumors on Twitter or sent via social media. At dtac, we have created an information portal for dtac employees to find information they can trust. Check with your organization what the official communication channels. Verify that the sender is who they claim to be. When you receive an email, check if the e-mail address is correct for the…

dtac plans for network traffic surge amid COVID-19 outbreak

Video conferencing apps see double- and triple-digit growth dtac’s network upgrade of Massive MIMO has been intensified both short- and long-term in response to the COVID-19 pandemic March 20, 2020 – dtac is optimizing its network capacity following traffic spikes due to an increasingly homebound workforce shielding itself from the coronavirus outbreak and using video conferencing apps to remain productive. In response, the company has established network contingency plans, focused on expanding Massive MIMO technology to triple network capacity, ensuring customers can stay connected and productive. Prathet Tankuranun, Chief Technology Officer at Total Access Communication Plc or dtac, said: “As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies in Thailand, dtac is monitoring and analyzing mobile usage in preparation for our contingency plan, vowing to keep customers connected through our network during this unprecedented time. The network service team is keeping a close eye on the impact of the outbreak in order to adapt the network accordingly.” dtac has found a significant rise in mobile applications focused on voice calls over the  video conferencing, internet (VoIP),  and home delivery. The top five (with a tie for fifth spot) are: Zoom user growth 828% Skype user growth 215% Google Hangouts Meet user growth 67% Grab…

Mobile ID: A quick fix to inequality in Thailand

Today, we are familiar with processing self-identification through PIN code, biometrics and facial recognition when using your smartphone. What if we can cast the vote, register a new company or pay electricity bill by just using your mobile phone number? The International Telecommunication Union defines digital identity as the digital representation of an entity, detailed enough to make the individual distinguishable within the digital context, which has a broad technology can refer to. One of the most focused digital technology for “critical mass adoption” is mobile identity, the extension of digital identity provided via mobile networks or devices. It is not just an enabler for logging-in and transacting, but the heart of achieving digital economy. It plays a vital role in communication and interaction with people and things. In 2016, Thailand’s telecom national regulator introduced biometric SIM registration in an effort to advancing national security after a raft of bombings in deep south. Under the rules, all mobile operators must capture and validate subscribers’ biometrics credentials (fingerprints or facial scans) against the data stored on their national identification smartcards. It’s identical to the government’s central citizen database.Pichit Kaewmakoon, Head of Regulatory Strategy at dtac, said: “Mobile technology can transform Thailand’s…

9 tech trends that will shape 2020

In 2020 many of the trends we spotlight for next year show innovation charging ahead faster than ever, enabled by more access and more demand, as well as by revolutionary new tech platforms and sociopolitical forces. Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research said that “we are having a common technological epiphany, a kind of digital realisation. People are waking up and examining how and where technologies, including AI, Machine Learning, IoT, and new network innovations will best and most securely connect them with the people and things that matter most. The world of technology isn’t a place that can be defined by a single storyline, it’s our job to understand the larger sometimes contradicting contexts we live in – in both of our worlds – and then to home in on the most important developments that could reshape our lives.”