dtac participated in today’s video conference on COVID-19 epidemic control and recovery measures with the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and 40 CEOs from Thailand’s leading companies. As a telecom operator, dtac is supporting Thailand during the pandemic with digital solutions and nationwide connectivity. Mr. Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of Total Access Communication PLC or dtac, proposed five recommendations on COVID-19 in Thailand:
1. Epidemic control with anonymous mobility data: dtac has been working with health authorities to use aggregated, anonymized data to study population movements for the purpose of disease tracking. This can support rolling out vaccines, target testing sites, and identify high-risk areas where COVID-19 clusters are likely to form.
2. Effective communication: Highly coordinated omni-channel public messaging will improve public adhesion to health recommendations. The government should also consider streamlining the COVID-19-related apps currently in use. The success of contact tracing apps requires about 70 percent of the population use them, as seen in Singapore. Having a single app for Thailand’s COVID-19 tracing, vaccine registration and information would support this goal.
3. Remedial measures for entrepreneurs: As movements are restricted and crowded public places highly risky, the success of online commerce will be critical. This means both supporting new online businesses and ensuring that existing businesses have the ability to transform. To do this, dtac runs a program called Net for Living, upskilling small and individual entrepreneurs to succeed in this new reality.
4. Long-term digital economic stimulus measures to ensure high-speed internet for all. As more Thais have migrated back to their home provinces, the need for ubiquitous connectivity is more important than ever. Additional network sites need to be rolled out and new spectrum will be required to meet growing data consumption. Access to idle spectrum bands, like 3500MHz, is thus critical to accelerate the development of online learning, work and commerce.
5. Measures for the revitalization of the country:
Ease of doing business and FDI: Thailand must encourage investments by cutting red tape and simplifying regulatory regimes.
Supporting citizens and socioeconomic growth: Both during and after the pandemic, relief measures should focus on disadvantaged groups. To close the digital divide, dtac runs digital commerce training and a program to make youth more resilient in online spaces.