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    How Next-Gen Urban Development Is Driving New Growth Opportunities

Fan Yanjun, senior vice president, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies (Thailand), explains how taking a forward-facing approach to urban development drives new growth opportunities but a robust underlying IT infrastructure is essential.

As one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Asia is leading the way in digital development. Powered by Huawei technology, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, continues to gather pace, with digital transformation supporting urban, social and economic development in a sustainable way. Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a prime example of a forward-thinking city and showcases the country’s vision of becoming a digital hub in Southeast Asia.

The Thai government has launched multiple initiatives to keep driving digital transformation forward, many of which involve our technology. For example, in 2020, the 5G Ecosystem Innovation Centre (EIC) was opened in Bangkok in collaboration with Huawei to act as a technology incubator for 5G-based applications that will create new business opportunities and pave the way for the ‘Thailand 4.0’ strategy.

Urban infrastructure development sits at the heart of the smart city story, providing growth opportunities as well as a better living environment for citizens. Huawei is helping to support this development across a number of key sectors, including energy, finance and property.

Fuelling the city with smarter energy

Across the energy sector, Huawei technology is helping to boost efficiency while improving reliability, for a more sustainable future. For example, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), a Thai state enterprise that provides electricity for much of the country, turned to Huawei to upgrade its wireless communication infrastructure as its legacy system was not built to support broadband services.

As a result, the PEA implemented our 5G-compatible eLTE-DSA solution, which offers fast wireless access, low latency, greater connectivity and reduced power consumption. The project was our first eLTE-DSA implementation outside of China. The PEA now has a network infrastructure with faster speeds, more capacity, better security and improved reliability across its services. Not only can it swiftly identify faults, reducing operation time and maintenance costs, it is also future-proofed for expansion.

Sustainable energy is a key focus for the Thai government, and in 2021 it passed a new policy aiming to ensure that by 2035, all vehicles produced in Thailand should be electric. In future, electric vehicle (EV) charging technology is expected to expand to act as a hub between the grid and the wider charging infrastructure.

We will continue to support Thailand’s digital transformation vision so that it can continue to act as blueprint for future smart cities in Asia Pacific and around the globe

The challenge is the initial high cost of establishing charging stations. To protect these investments, charging infrastructure needs to be highly reliable and efficient, as well as easily scalable for future evolution.

The coastal city of Rayong is set to launch an EV charging station featuring Huawei Digital Power HiCharger technology, chosen for its efficiency and reliability. The module is also capable of adapting to the high voltage cars that will arrive in the near future.

The evolution of banking

In the financial sector, Huawei is helping to reshape the digital banking landscape. For example, Government Savings Bank (GSB), formerly known as the Savings Office, was first created over one hundred years ago to help Thai people save money effectively.

With a long-term mission to become a fully digital social bank, GSB was limited by a legacy IT systems that did not support cloud-based operations. Huawei stepped in with its SD-WAN solution to provide a reliable interconnection between its headquarters and branches. The strong cloud-based network enables service continuity, efficiency and stability at all branches, without compromising data security. Not only does this speed up the roll-out of new services, it also reduces overall costs and ensures smooth operations for both staff and customers.

In another example, Huawei technology is helping to underpin Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG) which is the technology arm of Kasikorn Bank (KBank), one of Thailand’s top commercial banks. When KBTG was seeking to renew its storage infrastructure to cope with the surge of data from 15 million users of mobile banking app “K PLUS” and up to 100 million transactions every day, it chose Huawei’s high-end OceanStor Dorado 8000 All-Flash Storage Systems that deliver industry-leading performance with 99.9999 per cent reliability. Following the deployment of the new storage systems, KBTG saw a significant reduction in the response latency as well as power consumption, achieving both cost efficiency and energy efficiency.

Redefining the way that Bangkok citizens interact with banking organisations, Huawei innovations are also helping financial companies to offer a better user experience. As part of its digital transformation plan, credit card and personal loan service Krungthai Card Public Company Limited (KTC) focuses on identifying outdated and inefficient work processes and replacing them. After rolling out its Digital Workplace business model for a virtual work environment in 2019, KTC saw the need to boost its remote working capabilities when the pandemic struck in 2020.

Using the Huawei Campus Network Solution and the Huawei VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) Solution, KTC has been able to build a strong remote workplace, optimising IT costs, making room for future expansion, and offering a more satisfying experience for customers.

Creating an interconnected living environment

Providing citizens with a comfortable living environment is also an essential part of developing the smart cities of the future and Huawei technology is helping to pave the way for sustainable architectural development. The Huawei Intelligent Campus Solution is set to be used at The Forestias, Thailand’s largest private sector property development project, designed for healthier and happier living.

Developed by MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited), under its parent group DTGO, The Forestias is located in the blooming Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and is designed to be an eco-friendly community that boosts quality of life through integrated and interconnected facilities. Powered by our Intelligent Campus Solution, and hosted on Huawei Cloud, a remote operations centre reduces human workload while offering real-time safety monitoring and smart alarm system.

Situated at a prime inner-city location, the PARQ provides Bangkok citizens with offices and retail space connected through high quality internet

Another project that showcases this modern approach to architectural development is PARQ, a project that includes offices and retail space. Designed to promote wellbeing, sustainability and accessibility, PARQ is the first development in Thailand to be built with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles. With a clear need for comprehensive, stable and innovative IT infrastructure, the developer turned to a two-fold system from Huawei. This comprises our Passive Optical LAN (POL) for providing a network with high bandwidth, low latency and high reliability, along with our Wi-Fi 6, for enhancing IoT capabilities such as smart store directories, smart parking and real-time air quality monitoring.

These are just a few of the examples of Thailand taking a forward-facing approach to urban development to drive new growth opportunities. To make this possible, a robust underlying IT infrastructure is absolutely essential. At Huawei, we will continue to support Thailand’s digital transformation vision so that it can continue to act as blueprint for future smart cities in Asia Pacific and around the globe.

(This article was originally published by Smart Cities World and has been edited.)