Broadband grows increasingly important in Thailand

ICT infrastructure is fast becoming a pillar to drive Thailand’s digital economic development in these challenging times. The government has launched programs such as the 20-year National Digital Economy Masterplan, 5-year Digital Economy Plan, and 10-year Digital Economy Plan to advance network development that will improve the quality of the internet, its access, and cost, to support the digital economy.

E-commerce continued to boost the economy in 2021, as online sales and transport & food contributed 68% and 37% YoY respectively.

According to the 2021 e-CONOMY SEA report, about 9 million new digital consumers trooped to e-commerce since early 2020. Of this number, about 90% use digital services. On the merchant side, 34% attribute their survival through the pandemic to sales on digital platforms, the reason why 58% planning to use more digital marketing tools in the next five years.

In recent years, Bangkok has become a top choice for digital nomads for its high-quality broadband services and low cost of living, reported Dutch online resume maker Meanwhile, a report from OVUM and World Bank shows that the quality of broadband has greatly improved since 2016, due to constant network upgrades, faster speeds, better user experience at lower cost, and accessibility in both rural and urban areas throughout the country.

Significant investments in optic fiber networks have given 90% of users speeds of up to 100 Mbps (more than 10 million) by late 2020, while those enjoying at least 500 Mbps increased by 4 million in the same period.

An Ookla report revealed the download rate on Thailand’s broadband networks improved 4.6 times from 2016 to reach 166.81 Mbps by late 2020. Thailand has deployed 8 submarine cables to connect the country to the world.

New network technologies continue to make internet access more affordable from 3.42% in 2017 to 2.83% in 2020.