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Telenor CEO meets Prayut, reaffirms commitment to Thailand 4.0

May 25. 2017
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By The Nation

Telenor Group president and chief executive officer Sigve Brekke has met with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, reaffirming the company’s commitment to the digital development of the country and the vision of “Thailand 4.0”.

“As part of our commitment to providing mobile Internet and digital services for all, we acknowledge the government’s high ambitions for digital development and continue to support the vision of Thailand 4.0. We view the [establishment] of a dedicated Ministry for Digital Economy and Society as an important step towards realising the government’s agenda,” Brekke said.

This year, Telenor Group marks 17 years of business operations in Thailand. The Oslo-based company says that over the years, it has made significant contributions to the Thai economy through its strategic business partner, Total Access Communication (DTAC).

According to a recent study by KPMG, DTAC’s roll-out of third- and fourth-generation services between 2011 and 2015 contributed up to Bt1.3 trillion to the country’s gross domestic product, through socio-economic benefits from mobile Internet services. 

The same report estimated that DTAC’s operations in Thailand had generated more than 170,000 direct and indirect jobs. DTAC’s mobile network now covers 95 per cent of the population, while 4G coverage is up to 78 per cent.

Telenor Group and DTAC say they have committed to supporting the Thailand 4.0 policy, focusing on digital entrepreneurship, digital inclusion and digital literacy.

By actively engaging in the start-up ecosystem through the DTAC Accelerate programme, DTAC says it aims to foster a healthy start-up climate and create 30,000 jobs by 2020.

By introducing new services aimed at specific segments of the population, DTAC says it supports the ambition to reduce inequalities through digital inclusion. As an example, DTAC together with the Department of Agricultural Extension initiated the “Smart Farmer” programme, with the ambition of empowering 100,000 young farmers to digitise their value chain by 2020.

By providing mobile connectivity to all segments of society and providing education on the benefits of the Internet, DTAC supports the efforts to reduce digital illiteracy across Thailand. Through its Net Arsa programme, DTAC aims to groom a million digital trainers by 2018.

DTAC and Telenor Group have also expressed support for public-private partnerships as means to ensure access to digital infrastructure across the nation while preparing for future spectrum needs to cater for increased data usage. 

This year, DTAC signed a memorandum of understanding with four ministries to promote the use of digital technology across several segments such as cooperatives, farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

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