Nokia becomes the first 5G partner with Thailand’s mobile operator

The Finnish telecom giant, Nokia, announced that the company expand its 5G partnership in Southeast Asian region.

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced that it has been selected by Thai mobile operator, dtac, part of Telenor Group, as its first 5G RAN partner in a three-year deal covering the North and North Eastern regions of Thailand. With this deal, Nokia plays a key role in ensuring that dtac’s network performance is fully 5G-ready, and enabling a faster rollout of new 5G services as demand grows.

Nokia has been in Thailand for over 30 years with the deployment of 2G, 3G and 4G networks and will now provide 5G connectivity that will support the country’s efforts to digitize as part of its ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic strategy. The deployment is expected to begin later this year with completion expected in 2022.

The deal, which is an extension of Nokia’s existing partnership with dtac, will see an accelerated large-scale deployment of 5G on low-band spectrum (700-900Mhz) and high-capacity mmWave technology (26GHz), as well as enhancements of the existing networks utilizing 2300MHz, 2100MHz and 1800MHz spectrum. This combination will provide superior coverage and faster data speeds to subscribers.

Nokia will provide its AirScale Radio Access solutions for 4G and 5G networks that will improve overall network performance while enabling dtac to deliver 5G experience with ultra-low latency and extreme capacity. AirScale Radio Access is an industry-first commercial 5G solution enabling operators to capitalize early on 5G. The deal includes digital deployment for faster time to market, as well as optimization services.

dtac will also deploy Nokia Software’s NetAct Cloud network management system, which delivers cloud-agnostic, best-in-class tools for troubleshooting, administration, software management and configuration management.

Nokia is a long-standing partner of dtac and has previously provided its first commercial 4G TDD network in Thailand. Nokia has also provided solutions from its IP/Optical portfolio to bolster its network including a software-defined network (SDN)-ready IP/Optical network.

Who is Nokia?

Based on its homepage, the company profile of Nokia is described as follows.

We create the critical networks and technologies to bring together the world’s intelligence, across businesses, cities, supply chains and societies.

With our commitment to innovation and technology leadership, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we deliver networks at the limits of science across mobile, infrastructure, cloud, and enabling technologies.

Adhering to the highest standards of integrity and security, we help build the capabilities we need for a more productive, sustainable and inclusive world.

What is “Thailand 4.0”

According to Royal Thai Embassy, the overview and objectives of “Thailand 4.0” are described in the following way.

Thailand 4.0

Thailand 4.0 is an economic model that aims to unlock the country from several economic challenges resulting from past economic development models which place emphasis on agriculture (Thailand 1.0), light industry (Thailand 2.0), and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0). These challenges include “a middle income trap”, “an inequality trap”, and “an imbalanced trap”.

Four Objectives of Thailand 4.0

  • Economic Prosperity: to create a value-based economy that is driven by innovation, technology and creativity. The model aims to increase Research and Development (“R&D”) expenditure to 4% of GDP, increase economic growth rate to full capacity rate of 5-6% within 5 years, and increase national income per capita from 5,470 USD in 2014 to 15,000 USD by 2032.
  • Social Well-being: to create a society that moves forward without leaving anyone behind (inclusive society) through realization of the full potential of all members of society. The goals are to reduce social disparity from 0.465 in 2013 to 0.36 in 2032, completely transform to social welfare system within 20 years and develop at least 20,000 households into “Smart Farmers” within 5 years.
  • Raising Human Values: to transform Thais into “Competent human beings in the 21sth Century” and “Thais 4.0 in the first world. Measures under Thailand 4.0 will raise Thailand HDI from 0.722 to 0.8 or the top 50 countries within 10 years, ensure that at least 5 Thai universities are ranked amongst the world’s top 100 higher education institution within 20 years.
  • Environmental Protection: to become a livable society that possesses an economic system capable of adjusting to climate change and low carbon society. The targets are to develop at least 10 cities into the world’s most livable cities, reduce terrorism risk, and increase the proportion

National government is the essential stakeholder in economy

When we think about marketing, we sometimes make use of frameworks such as 3C (Company, Customer and Competitor) and 4P (Product, Price, Place and Promotion). However, as we report in the other article, nonmarket strategy becomes more crucial than before. This is because we live in the strong uncertain world, and because many big players are involved to shape the markets that need tremendous investments, like telecommunication industry. China’s “Made in China 2025” and Germany’s “Industry 4.0” are good examples, and we can say that “Thailand 4.0” is the case as well.

To realize “Thailand 4.0”, Nokia’s deal makes sense for three reasons. First, 5G network and technology can be the essential infrastructure to proceed with our new businesses in the next 5 to 10 years. As for 5G network, the market is oligopoly and Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and other few players have most market share. As a result, the developing countries, like Thailand, have to ask these companies to help them. Second, there are technological gaps between high skilled workers and low. Therefore, if low skilled workers want to acquire the necessary skills, it takes time and sometimes, it seems impossible. This announcement can give the good opportunities to catch up with the latest technologies and skills. Third, from Nokia’s perspective, the company want to gain its market share in the developing countries, especially in Asia. More than 60% of world population lives in Asia now, but the infrastructure is not well developed compared to the Western countries. There is a huge potential for the infrastructure business in Asia.