NT recruits Mavenir to build private 5G Open RAN for new Thai smart city
Mavenir is working with state-owned National Telecom Public Company Limited (NT) in Thailand to make Ban Chang, in Thailand, the “first” smart city to deploy private 5G based on open RAN infrastructure. Cisco and local firm 5GCT, focused on 5G in the smart city space, is also involved in the project, which presents Ban Chang, the westernmost district of Rayong Province in eastern Thailand, as a ‘Silicon Beach’ smart city.
A statement from the companies involved said the new 5G infrastructure “creates synergies between public and private sectors for a fully functional smart city”. The city lies between Pattaya and Bangkok, the two largest cities in Thailand. The location has good road links to U-Tapao International Airport in Pattaya, one of the newest and most advanced international airports, and the Map Ta Phut Industrial Zone, a large industrial park in the town of Map Ta Phut in Rayong Province.
The newly-planned Ban Chang Smart City represents a third key development for both the Digital Thailand initiative, the country’s blueprint for economic growth, and its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development plan, part of its Thailand 4.0 strategy to revitalise and enhance industry along its eastern seaboard. “These characteristics make Ban Chang the perfect city to take advantage of 5G use cases across industrial robots, factory automation, remote telemedicine, aviation, logistics and agriculture,” the statement said.
In March, Kanit Sangsubhan (pictured), secretary general for the Thai government’s EEC office, launched the first 5G pilot in Ban Chang, declaring Ban Chang as the “first of Thailand’s progressive smart cit[ies] within the EEC, and the first in Thailand.
With this step, Ban Chang will be the first of Thailand’s progressive Smart City within the EEC, and the first in Thailand. Apart from the public conference,an educative seminar on 5G Smart City and its benefits to the local Rayong community was paneled by participating experts such as Djitt Laowattana, Ph.D. Special Advisor, Education/ Human Capital and Technology Development and Mr. Paramintra Sangsaksittharot Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ban Chang Subdistrict Municipality.
Mavenir’s open private network solution has already been deployed by state-owned operator TOT, it said, which merged with CAT Telecom at the end of 2020 to form NT as a Thai government telecom provider. Cisco is providing the switching hardware and application services. The new private 5G network on the site operates on millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, well suited for IoT sensors, drones and smart poles requiring fast data uplinks to the core network for real-time analysis and city management.
It said devices, applications, and services will run on an automated network using open architecture, containers, and data analytics. Its combination of radio and core networks will help the Ban Chang smart-city development deliver “concepts such as real-time diagnostics of traffic, public safety, digital signage, and sensitive environmental conditions”.
Aniruddho Basu, general manager of emerging business at Mavenir, said: “This deployment [connects] people, communities, government services, and private sector services through local government data and new IoT data [from] sensors, drones, and external [sources] – for proper city management and citizen knowledge.”
Shannon Kalayanamitr, chief executive at 5GCT, said: “We [will] strengthen the potential of Thailand through high speed 5G. The partnership with Mavenir enables us to deliver robust, secure and reliable private 5G network infrastructure across enterprises, including smart city applications, industry 4.0 applications, and modern medicine.”
Taweewat Chantaraseno, managing director at Cisco in Thailand, said: “[Ban Chang] can create a single, secure communications network to support all needs that are simpler to deploy and manage from end-to-end visibility, ranging from smart kiosks and outdoor Wi-Fi, to smart street lighting, parking, waste and more. Smart city infrastructure is enabling efficiency, cost reduction and improved living for city occupants.”