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Phuket to become a smart city thanks to national IoT network

CAT Telecom, a Thai state-owned company that runs mobile communication, data consumption and applications services across the country, is in the process of rolling out a national IoT communication network in Thailand. Actility’s ThingPark wireless LPWA connectivity platform will be adopted to launch a smart city solution in Phuket which will be soon be followed by Bangkok. Actility has partnered with local system integrator and communication network specialist Teo Hong Silom Group to support both the deployment and scale-up of the network.

CAT Telecom’s initiative comes in line with the government’s Thailand 4.0 agenda and aims to develop a LoRaWAN network to support Internet of Things (IoT) services such as smart metering, smart buildings, smart lighting, smart parking, smart farming, smart logistics and smart tourism.

"These services require a data communication infrastructure which covers a long distance, uses low energy and cuts the operating cost, all of which are major advantages of the LoRaWAN wireless network," said Colonel Sanpachai Huvanandana, president of CAT Telecom.

In addition to these services, CAT has also launched a LoRaWAN IoT by CAT platform to support the commercial sector in developing innovative industrial IoT services. Currently the company is testing a tracking service combining GPS and IoT communications enabling cars, motorbikes, dump trucks and coaches to be tracked across the province.

In Phuket, the service has been of great value to tourism. Speed-boat businesses have deployed the tracking technology to ensure the safety of their customers by installing trackers on their boats and providing tracking wristbands.

CAT is also working on developing the smart tourism campaign with its partners through the Smart Phuket 4.0 mobile application, Beacon devices that accurately inform tourists and foreigners in the province about product deals and tourist attractions, and Digital Signage that helps in finding restaurants, tourist spots, accommodation, hospitals and the locations of key governmental offices.

"In the future, the information on the behaviors and activities of tourists will be aggregated by a big data platform," adds Colonel Huvanandana. "It will greatly benefit the business owners and city administration in. They will be able to perform deep analysis of consumer behavior, and also improve the quality of life and the safety of the local citizens, improve all aspects of city management in all aspects and make Phuket a world class smart city."

CAT Telecom will draw upon the knowledge and experience gained from the Phuket project to accelerate the deployment of smart cities in 18 provinces across Thailand, including the Bangkok region, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nan, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Pathom, and the three provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), namely Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao.