AIS putting technology to work to upgrade quality of life in remote areas, part of a continuing campaign to help create a fully digitized Thai society

July 13, 2016: AIS continues to underline its position as Thailand’s No. 1 digital service provider under the “Live Digital, Live More” concept. The idea behind this initiative is to apply digital technology to upgrade quality of life to help improve Thai society in every dimension.

In collaboration with various organizations, the company has been applying its digital technology to improve the country’s telecommunication infrastructure. The main objective is to promote the development of learning among young people and also to provide internet access to communities in distant areas. A pilot project to create a hub that pools information from around the world has been set up at the Baan Khiri Lom Border Patrol Police School in Bang Saphan Noi district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, one of the country’s more remote areas.

Mr. Somchai Lertsutiwong, chief executive officer of Advanced Info Service Plc. (AIS), said: “Today in Thailand, both technology and the behavior patterns of mobile phone users have changed. Accordingly, AIS has set a clear goal to shift our role from that of a mobile operator to a digital service provider, number one in the country, and a leader in innovation. This change has the main purpose of applying digital technology to improve the quality of life of our customers and to make things simpler and more convenient for them.

“We strive to help people improve the way they work, live and learn, in line with the government’s policy to strengthen the national economy and society by means of digital technology. This of course requires advanced infrastructure for high-quality communication covering every area of Thailand. Above all, it must be able to operate on a continuous basis.

“As Thailand’s digital network leader, AIS has mobilized all of its digital technology resources to help modernize Thai people’s lives and develop every aspect of society. This emphasis also extends to remote areas, where the task is to connect even the most distant locations in all provinces digitally. The project involves the deployment of digital technology to modernize lives and develop society in every dimension. We believe that digital technology is a core element that can improve quality of life to another level and provide convenience in areas such as public health, learning, public safety and security, and agriculture.”

One AIS initiative already underway involves the use of digital technology to improve public health under the “VHV Online Application Project”. Digital technology from AIS is being used to help improve the operations of community health services run by Tambon Health Promotion Hospitals (THPH) and Village Health Volunteers (VHV). The technology allows for the simple, fast and accurate sending and receiving of public health information, such as updates on disease outbreaks, announcements from the Ministry of Public Health, and reports on the health of community members.

The response so far has been highly satisfactory and the application is now being used by around 50 THPH units in remote areas of every region. The project will be expanded continuously to cover the THPH and VHV network nationwide.

Today AIS is introducing another project that employs digital technology to improve telecommunication infrastructure and pave the way for further development in learning and access to information for young people in remote provinces. With internet access bringing these communities information from every corner of the world, the project helps to reduce technology inequality and to improve the quality of life.

AIS has been working with several government agencies to make the project possible. In cooperation with the IT foundation initiated by Her Royal Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the company has joined with the Border Patrol Police Bureau, National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) and Wildlife Sanctuary authorities to establish the “ICT and renewable energy integrated system project for communities along borders under the initiative of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn”.

The first pilot center was established at the Baan Khiri Lom Border Patrol Police School in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Located in a remote water resource area of the Khiri Lom Forest Preservation Unit, the school has 105 students in primary grades 1 to 6.

For the project, AIS is responsible for providing the IT system and digital communication resources. Our prototype classroom is equipped with high-speed internet using wireless communication and 3G technology on mobile phones. The main purpose is to open the world of communication to young people and other community residents by giving them access to information, the critical element for developing quality of life.

Providing the IT system was not the only challenge. The work needed to start with generating power because many communities in remote areas still lack a power supply and telecommunication systems. Thus, AIS together with NECTEC developed and installed an integrated renewable energy system. The generator is the first in Thailand to use a combination of solar and hydro-power sources. The power generated is for consumption within the Border Patrol Police learning center.

A Remote Monitoring system is built into the generator to ensure swift response if maintenance is needed. In addition, a charging station was built so that villagers can recharge their lanterns. AIS and its partners have also provided training courses in the use and maintenance of equipment to both teachers and students.

“AIS is highly prepared in terms of digital technology and personnel who can contribute to improving and developing Thai society as the country shifts toward becoming a complete digital society,” said Mr. Somchai. “Furthermore, we have proved our dedication to promoting wireless network development so that it covers every area, especially remote provinces.

“We believe that access to information will ignite positive attitudes toward learning in communities, among the young in particular. Ultimately, we expect that greater access to information will result in improved quality of life, and hence sustainable growth for Thailand.”