Thailand and Laos yesterday signed a partnership contract in co-developing telecommunications network to boost the economy and expand internet penetration.
Nattapong Seetavorarat, Advisor to the ICT Minister, Thailand led the executive team from the MICT together with CAT Telecom—the state telco—to meet with Pradappetch Chaiyakod, Assistant to Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Laos, accompanied by ETL, Laos’ state owned telco.
The meeting organised during ETL-CAT Network Showcase in Vientiane was to beef up the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) project especially in area related to the Internet Data Center (IDC) of the two countries.
The GMS is a development project supported by the Asian Development Bank in 1992, bringing together six countries whose areas are bounded by the Mekong River: namely Combodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Yunnan Province of China.
The IDC will support and promote cloud service to facilitate G2G, G2B, and B2B transactions between the two countries. The collaboration is expected to greatly help enhance the economy, trade, tourism, and customs procedure, said Seetavorarat.
Also, the two countries will deploy 2D Barcode technology in agricultural development for farmers to access and manage the data of their plantation and agricultural products via smart phones, he added.
Last year, three networks points were successfully installed to connect bordering provinces of Nongkhai and Vientiane, Mukdahan and Savannakhet, and Nakhon Panom and Khammouan. The fourth network point that is in the process of being installed is Chiang Khong and Huaysai.
“The GMS and IDC is an effort to bridge land network between Thailand and Laos, making us a telecommunication hub of Indochina,” Seetavorarat said.
According to him, ICT will play an important role after the economic integration in 2015 as a tool for people from all sectors to communicate, contact, and transfer data among the member countries.
“We need to give people in this region a channel for them to interact through, by leveraging ICT systems,” he inserted, and added that a collaborative team will be set up to research and study about the possibilities of future cooperation.
A joint-venture contract between CAT Telecom and ETL Lao was signed during the meeting for mutual development in telecommunications.