MWC 2023 Warm up - 5G Business Success: APAC 5G Is Leading The World

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February 27, 2023

3 Min Read
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Recently, on the third anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, government leaders met in Bangkok, Thailand to generate new business opportunities. In terms of commercial and financial achievements, four APAC members comprise the Top5 countries and regions that have successfully deployed 5G services.

For example, in 2021 the mobile market directly contributed more than $200 billion to the APAC economy with expectations for the overall contribution to reach $802 billion in 2022. These contributions are most visible in the deployment of 5G services related to healthcare, smart city infrastructure, heavy industries (mining, manufacturing, etc.) and transportation.

5G increases innovation for businesses and consumers

In addition to Thailand’s extensive 5G-based manufacturing, multinational companies including MOMOS, Maxis and Huawei established a 5G and AI Innovation Hub to accelerate industrial use cases enabled by 5G, IoT, cloud services and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Since 2020, the number of 5G users in the APAC region has reached more than 100 million in total. In general, 5G success has been both rapid and steady across the region. More than 10 5GtoB (business) private networks have been built, covering medical care, intelligent city, ports, mining, oil and gas and other industries. For example, Hong Kong HKT operates 10+ commercial smart hospitals. And by 2025, projections for the developed Asia-Pacific region will reach the highest threshold of deployments with 67% of 5G markets and 199 million 5GtoC (consumer) connections.

Innovations in other sectors have had a strong impact as well. Increased efficiency for the port industry has been significant. Changes include the ability of staff and production crews to work at a safer and more convenient place as well as more sustainable practices through a greater reliance on 5G networks. In the healthcare sector, Thailand’s 5G smart hospitals are contributing to important commercial use.

Recently, Thailand’s Prime Minister called for Thailand to become an ASEAN medical hub. To meet that goal, the Siriraj Smart Hospital in Thailand will create new models for delivering modern health services through the collaboration of Siriraj Hospital, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and Huawei Technologies.  Strategic cooperation between Huawei and Thailand’s Ministry of Health will also establish cutting-edge 5G networks to improve hospital care standards and operational efficiency.

Key alliances spur 5G technology innovation

It’s clear that the digital economy in APAC has achieved new potential in B2B commerce, particularly as it relates to establishing 5G services, ecology development and robust networks. As part of that effort, the GSMA APAC 5G Industry Community was established in 2021 to spearhead 5G initiatives and spur economic growth in a number of key verticals, including manufacturing, logistics, transportation and healthcare.

The Community sponsors an industry platform where technology innovators can share use-case experiences, locate business partners, advance their knowledge and accelerate 5G and IoT adoptions. For instance, Thailand recently partnered with Huawei to develop a 5G ecosystem in Southeast Asia. The country’s 5G Alliance promotes next-generation applications to drive economic growth across multiple sectors. In heavy industry, AIS ,SCG and WAYTOUS have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on building a smart mining project in Thailand.

Value of 5G ecological development and strong networks

The APAC 5G Community supports collaboration on Industry 4.0 and digital transformation through deployment of 5G networks, edge-cloud services, enterprise IoT and AI. It comprises a number of multinational companies, including Huawei, Maxis, MDEC, Schneider Electric and Viettel. This ‘alliance of alliances’ initiative will also drive significant growth into vertical markets in 2023.

As the fastest growing GSMA alliance, the APAC 5G Industry Community represents a crucial regional partnership for completing the 5G ecosystem in APAC and Thailand. Over the next 12 months, the GSMA will look to expand the APAC 5G industry alliance through critical case studies, technology workshops and increased partnerships. Due to these types of 5G breakthroughs, the ASEAN region is poised for strong economic growth and widespread delivery of 5G services to increasing numbers of commercial operations and consumers.

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