Guess speaker – Mrs. Alexandra Reich, Chief Executive Officer, dtac
Mrs. Alexandra Reich, Chief Executive Officer, Total Access Communication PLC (dtac) stated that mobile operator is committed to 5G development. We should launch 5G service in 2021. I am very excited that Thailand is setting up national 5G committee because the collaboration between industries and government agencies will be the key for 5G. Also, 5G will benefit B2B the most as evident in any commercialized countries. South Korea has been in trial process with the result of only 10% of consumers turning to 5G. The network coverage is still unstable. The current 5G developing movement is more for marketing purpose. Even in the United States and Europe, they are still in process to find the most benefit practical use cases for their perspectives.
5G enables better productivity and efficiency for every industry sectors. Individual consumers will still hesitate to pay higher fees for 5G service. Since the past, dtac has been proposing the collaboration between sectors as dtac believes 5G is going to benefit all sectors. Consequently, Thailand should develop the 5G roadmap but Thailand should not push 5G commercialization before the timeframe. Instead of 2020, dtac believes that 2021 is more appropriate to have sustainable 5G commercial launch as Thailand will have incorporated the developed ecosystem and use cases by that time.
If we rush to 5G on the wrong spectrum, we’re crippling Thailand in the long run. There will be issues with the device ecosystem and the lack of bandwidth. We need to get it right the first time around as 5G is a huge investment.
Another concern is relevant regulation to support the efficient deployment of 5G.
5G is a huge investment and given the lack of use cases right now, it’s very hard to see how MNOs can break even on 5G. A lot of help is needed on the reduction of regulatory costs, license fees, number registration fees, equipment important taxes—anything that could help support 5G deployment.
Regulator should also take steps to increase the incentives around infrastructure sharing.
The 5G spectrum roadmap is unclear at this point in time. Having a clear roadmap would allow operators to plan use case trials. Most countries have established spectrum roadmaps that identify key bands that will need to be allocated from 2020-2025, when most 5G services will begin to commercialize at scale.
The need for collaboration between government and industry to explore this use cases will remain strong over the coming years. And dtac remains committed to working with our partners to develop a 5G ecosystem that will serve the people of Thailand and enable many of Thailand’s key industries to thrive and be competitive in an even more intelligently digitalized world.