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Anudith predicts upgrade in technology competitiveness [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
[January 31, 2013]

Anudith predicts upgrade in technology competitiveness [Bangkok Post, Thailand]

(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 01--The government has set an ambitious goal for upgrading the country's information and communications technology (ICT) competitiveness by at least 10 rankings by 2015.

Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap, the ICT minister, said the imminent full commercial service of third-generation (3G) wireless broadband on the international-standard 2.1-gigahertz frequency will modernise Thailand's mobile infrastructure.

A report conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit pegged Thailand's ranking at 50th out of 66 countries surveyed in terms of ICT industry competitiveness in 2011.

"We aim for our ranking to move up to 40th by 2015, as our telecommunications industry is already shifting from an old-fashioned concession regime to a licensing system," Gp Capt Anudith said.

"We believe the licensing system will lower operators' costs in expanding networks and increase the country's wireless broadband penetration rate.

"Thailand's IT investment expenditure could be halved to 3% of national revenue under the new licensing system, the global benchmarking standard." He said Thailand's internet penetration reached 37% last year, up from 12% in 2010.

He said the falling prices of wireless devices, especially smartphones, had driven strong demand.

Average prices for entry-level smartphones are now about 2,500 baht, down from 5,000 last year.

In addition, the government plans to roll out the core ICT network covering 87% of the population and connecting wireless networks at about 2,000 state agencies.

___ (c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand) Visit the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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