AIS pledged to support Thailand’s economic recovery from Covid-19 (coronavirus) by deploying 5G services across a number of key sectors as part of an ongoing nationwide network build.

The operator cited healthcare, retail and industry options for its network, with CEO Somchai Lertsutthiwong (pictured) noting recovery from the global effects of the pandemic requires digital infrastructure as a key foundation.

He added that despite the virus, “there is always opportunity. Still, it depends on how we capture that opportunity”, noting integrating digital technologies such as 5G into the processes of industries will help transform Thailand and overcome the crisis.

AIS launched its 5G service in February: Somchai said coverage had been expanded to all 77 provinces in the country by end-May.

In the industrial sector, AIS is working with a number of companies to apply 5G to the main airport and port in the Eastern Economic Corridor, an area straddling three provinces which the government aims to transform into a hub for technological manufacturing and services.

The operator also started smart city initiatives.

In healthcare, it company deployed robots running on its 5G network to screen patients for Covid-19 at hospitals.

The operator also plans to be the first in the country to introduce network slicing technology.

When it launched its 5G service, AIS set aside a preliminary budget of THB10 billion ($323.5 million) to THB15 billion for its rollout over the following 12 months