As Thailand continues to digitize, the Internet of Things (IoT) market, which is a key enabler to this transformation, is slated to grow to US $2.19 billion by 2030 from US $120 million in 2018.
This staggering growth, coupled with even stronger data connectivity driven by 5G deployment, will be crucial not only to recovery, but also economic transformation. Against this backdrop, major IoT providers such as Telenor Group’s Telenor Connexion are in leadership positions to drive the innovation required to maintain and extend Thailand’s already high levels of IoT implementation.
Telenor Connexion and Telenor’s businesses in the Nordics recently consolidated its global portfolio of brands under a single brand, Telenor IoT. Telenor Connexion is a major partner to dtac and has been invaluable in dtac’s development of 5G and IoT use cases. To better understand how machine-to-machine communications can boost Thailand’s digital transformation, dtacblog spoke to Seth Ryding, Chief Sales Officer Global Sales for Telenor Connexion.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted the need for IoT solutions?
A: The past 12 months have accelerated demand for IoT solutions. Things that could be done in person, such as meter readings, can no longer be carried out in the same way due to restrictions or lock downs. Consumers buy more online and have increasingly higher demands of updated or real-time information about their deliveries. Touch-free operations are privileged for their safety. And even COVID-19 vaccines underscore the need to transport goods with rigorous monitoring of temperature and light exposure throughout their journey in order to secure the quality, protect the value and make sure that the distribution of the vaccine is optimized.
Q: How can innovation in IoT make a difference amidst this uncertain backdrop?
A: The list of benefits from IoT is indeed almost endless. From tracking trucks across borders to contactless payments, machine-to-machine communications answer many of the challenges of our age and creates a foundation for development of new product and services.
In Thailand, which is the automotive hub of Southeast Asia, connected cars, trucks, and buses could also reshape and optimize transportation in the region as well as decrease congestions by optimizing supply and demand based on actual usage and data gathering. Telenor Connexion has decades of experience in this field, having worked with Hitachi, Volvo and Scania among others.
Our motto is ‘Connecting things – it’s all about people.’ The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital adoption, but also highlighted digital gaps. A lot of businesses or even government organizations need support to better connect their users to their services. For example, remote monitoring of patients can increase access to healthcare for people in remote areas and making sure that patience only visit the hospital when needed. In these respect, IoT can boost a country’s resilience.
Q: What are some of the more interesting use cases of IoT?
A: A Chinese car manufacturer we spoke to recently told us they saw their cars as mobile phones with four wheels, to me that is a statement that really shows how things are changing and evolving. Everywhere you look, there’s a dynamic of the physical turning digital. Scania’s trucks now all come bundled with connectivity capabilities and includes a basic report on usage and performance. In addition, Scania’s customers can subscribe to detailed data and analysis, that can be used to change usage and improve performance, life span and fuel consumption that in the long run impacts the environment and supports sustainability.
Another interesting use case is with dtac, which has already started piloting 5G use cases in remote surveillance, water management, and smart metering. These are key areas for machine-to-machine communication. The challenge isn’t the technology. It’s to make companies and entrepreneurs understand that solutions like Wi-Fi may seem cheaper initially, but don’t pay off in the long run. Mobile connections are extremely robust, secure, and standardized. It’s the best way to connect devices if a hassle free and scalable solution that will last a long time is the goal.
Q: What are some of the key trends you foresee in the IoT space?
A: An interesting and major trend we have seen is that traditional product suppliers are transforming from merely selling hardware to selling services. In the past, a supplier’s relationship with customers normally ended when selling the actual product. Now, when the smart product, the IoT solution is sold, that is when the relationship really starts and the possibility of a long-lasting relation with additional smart services added over time is initiated.
IoT connections are also growing by 28 percent a year in Asia. There is a huge opportunity. IoT can help us live healthier, safer lives while reducing costs and our environmental footprints. The only limit to the improvements IoT will bring is our imagination.
Telenor Connexion and dtac are now set to work even more closely, jointly offering 4G and 5G IoT services to Thai businesses. With 200 IoT experts across 18 countries, Telenor Connexion brings a wealth of solutions and business models to be adapted in Thailand—including Telenor’s pioneering 5G use cases.