Railways and post in Thailand to benefit from IoT and blockchain

Railways and post in Thailand to benefit from IoT and blockchain

Rail and post in Thailand to benefit from IoT and blockchain
A Bangkok-bound train crosses the Wampo viaduct on the River Kwai

Two Thai government agencies, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and Thailand Post, are looking to the IoT and blockchain technologies, respectively, to improve their logistics.

According to a report in The Bangkok Post, the Thai railway system will invest 1 billion baht (some $30 million) over the next three years in order to upgrade its information and communications technology, says the newspaper, quoting SRT’s CIO, Sirima Hiruncharoenvate.

The Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s approval of the 800-900 megahertz spectrum for a wireless communications system will enable the SRT to continue work on its IoT strategy, she said.

With IoT sensors attached to trains, railway stations will know the exact times that trains are expected to arrive and keep passengers on platforms informed about delays. In the event of accidents, they will communicate with the railway signalling system, enabling authorities to stop the train swiftly. “It will also improve the logistics service of goods delivery,” said Hiruncharoenvate.

Meanwhile, Thailand Post director Thitipong Nandhabiwat said that blockchain would be used to track the delivery of high-value parcels, such as luxury items, by the end of 2017 or early in 2018.

“Blockchain is secure and trusted as only authorized persons are allowed to open parcels,” he explained.

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Internet of Thailand

The reports follow the announcement in early August of plans by the Thailand government to set up an IoT Institute. This will be part of the Digital Park that will be built in the eastern Chon Buri province, some 80km from Bangkok. The Park aims to attract investors and provide a centre for collaboration between domestic and foreign digital professionals. Its focus will be the development of technologies in automation and robotics, aerospace, bioenergy and biochemicals and healthcare.

Pichet Durongkaveroj, minister of Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE), said that the plan is to submit a proposal for the IoT Institute to the cabinet for approval in September, along with an initial budget framework.

“IoT will be an outstanding part of the Digital Park, drawing investment from foreign enterprises to establish offices and exchange development in innovation with Thai tech start-ups, both in the park and through the government’s smart cities project,” he said.

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