The deputy prime minister of Thailand has told the country’s operators that they should aim to launch commercial 5G by mid-2020.
Speaking to The Bangkok Post, Somkid Jatusripitak said that 5G networks were necessary for Thailand to stay competitive with its regional neighbours in terms of innovation and economic prosperity.
“Thailand is battling to become the digital innovation hub of ASEAN, competing with Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, which all plan to launch commercial 5G services in 2020”, he told the paper.
He also noted that the government must not see 5G spectrum auctions as an opportunity to generate money from “exorbitant winning prices”.
Last month, Thailand’s regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) outlined the 5G spectrum auction process scheduled for February next year, with deployments expected to begin in March. Spectrum will be made available in four bands – initially 2600MHz and 26GHz, then later 700MHz and 1800MHz.