Southeast Asia hastens 5G shift to close development gap Nikkei Asian Review 18th Mar 2019
Southeast Asian nations are scrambling to introduce 5G networks, determined not to fall behind developed nations as the technology is critical to innovations such as autonomous driving and digital medical services. Thailand and Vietnam plan to start 5G services as early as 2020, trailing rich nations by only a year or two. In contrast, they launched 4G services five years after their Western counterparts. The steep costs of 5G infrastructure weigh on telecommunications companies, which are still struggling with heavy spending on 4G technology. This factor may figure in their decisions on whether to exclude cheaper offerings from Chinese company Huawei Technologies, as urged by the U.S. Singapore, which is a regional leader in 5G, said in July that its Singapore Telecommunications had teamed up with Ericsson to test 5G networks. Singtel is also working with Garuda Robotics on drones for security and package delivery. The government plans to use 5G, which offers seamless data transmission, to install about 100,000 smart streetlights equipped with sensors and surveillance cameras. It is also expected to harness the technology for communications involved in automated driving. In Myanmar, where 4G service was fully launched only in 2017, the government aims to shift toward 5G by assigning mobile providers portions of the new spectrum early in the next decade. Health care consultancy Golden Zaneka is exploring telemedicine for rural areas to close the gulf in service with large cities. While most Southeast Asian countries are expected to maintain that course, Vietnam is in a somewhat different position. The Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group plans to begin its 5G pilot network this year and aims to develop its own base stations.
IoT and Future Digital Economy Lab to advance Indonesia in the Industry 4.0 era OpenGov Asia 26th Mar 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Future Digital Economy Lab of the Bandung Institute of Technology was recently inaugurated by the Minister of Industry, Airlangga Hartarto. According to a recent press release, the Lab will be beneficial to the progress of the nation by encouraging innovation and advancement in the field of digital economy during the Industry 4.0 era. In his speech, the Minister highlighted the role of the Laboratory in producing innovative ideas, in referencing product designs, and in creating solutions that will respond to IoT problems. The Goals of the Lab The Lab aims to provide support for the Indonesian government as they attain their goal of developing the country’s human resources, particularly the younger generation as they face the Industry 4.0. Indonesia’s population is considered as to be one of the biggest in the region, with a significant portion coming from the millennial generation.
Indonesia developing disaster mitigation technology for tourist destinations The Jakarta Post 22nd Mar 2019
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has said that Indonesia is currently developing disaster mitigation technology that will be placed in tourist destinations. “The support of technology for disaster mitigation will improve the tourist experience,” Arief said in a press statement on Thursday, adding that the the country was taking steps toward meeting the standards introduced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The technology would also improve the competitiveness of the Indonesian tourist industry in the global market, he said. The Tourism Ministry is attempting to help the country to reach 30th position in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Currently, Indonesia sits 42nd.
North Jakarta to pioneer digital alms giving The Jakarta Post 22nd Mar 2019
The North Jakarta municipality plans to develop a digital alms system at mosques and mushola (prayer rooms) within the city's offices to help Muslims meet their religious obligations. North Jakarta administration and public welfare assistant Wawan Budi said his side had disseminated the information to civil servants working at the city's offices. The system will be launched in collaboration with city-owned Bank DKI Syariah. "In this digital era, the utilization of cash has been reduced. So, it would help people to give to charity," Wawan said on Thursday, kompas.com reported. Before being applied to all the mosques and mushola in the municipality's offices, the system will be applied in Babussalam Mosque first, which is located inside the North Jakarta mayor's office. Bank DKI Syariah's representative from the Kelapa Gading chapter, Andry Pramuria, said the digital alms would be included in the mobile wallet app JakOne Mobile. "Later, we will attach a QR code to each mosque, so that the money will be transferred directly to the respective mosque and mushola's bank accounts."
Telkom makes Indonesia 'Global Digital Hub' Antara News 21st Mar 2019
State telecommunication operator PT Telkom Indonesia Tbk has completed the sea cable communication system (SKLL) project called Indonesia Global Gateway (IGG), making the country one of the global digital hubs. "We have completed the IGG sea cable project which makes Indonesia one of the hubs for global internet traffic," Telkom Indonesia Director of Wholesale and International Services Abdus Somad Arief said in a press statement released on Thursday. The operation of the IGG sea cable connects Europe and America through Indonesia, he said. "SKKL South East Asia-United States (SEA-US) and Southeast Asia Middle East West Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) are connected by IGG, which connects Dumai to Manado," he said. IGG is an underwater optic cable system which will connect the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Batam, Java, Bali, Kalimantan and Sulawesi to Singapore. NEC Corporation (NEC) is Telkom's partner for cable with a speed of 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) x 80 wavelength (wl) x 4 optic fiber pair (fp), which spans about 5,300 kilometers to connect the major cities in Indonesian such as Dumai, Batam, Jakarta, Madura, Bali, Makassar, Balikpapan, Takaran and Manado to Singapore.
Indonesia election mired in claims of foreign hacking and 'ghost' voters the Guardian 19th Mar 2019
Voter lists have become the latest battleground in the run-up to elections in the world’s third-largest democracy, with claims of infiltration by Chinese and Russian hackers and millions of “ghost voters” being added. Last week – a month before the election – the head of Indonesia’s election commission (KPU) fuelled foreign meddling fears after he was quoted as saying that hackers from Russia and China had been unrelenting in attempts to “manipulate and modify” Indonesia’s electoral roll, which includes the data of more than 187 million eligible voters. However the claim made by commission chief Arief Budiman was disputed by its own IT security team. Harry Sufehmi, an IT infrastructure consultant at the KPU, said there were constant hacking attempts which appear to be from countries such as China, Russia and the US, but the attempts most likely originated at home.
MoU for digital healthcare development The Star 22nd Mar 2019
BookDoc and University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify a collaborative relationship between the two institutions in the areas of teaching and research. The MoU signifies BookDoc’s commitment in contributing to the development of digital healthcare landscape in the country; while working with UMS to pave the way in realising UMS’ dream of establishing the first smart teaching hospital in East Malaysia. UMS is an established university which strives to enhance and strengthen its academic cooperation and has taken various initiatives to complement its educational excellence. Datuk Chevy Beh, the founder and CEO of BookDoc, said the collaboration enables both parties to join expertise in areas including; but not limited to, the research of the Digital Transformation of Healthcare, Smart Hospital, Medical Tourism, and optimising access to healthcare and human capital. “We are excited to work with an academic institution such as UMS to operationalise and digitise the hospital, aiming to contribute to the continuous development of the digital healthcare landscape in the region” he said. With the collaboration, BookDoc will provide its platform to UMS for this purpose. “We envisage this collaboration will help us to better understand the needs in realising digital healthcare from a teaching perspective and the new way services are rendered, which will be more data-driven and personalised,” he concluded.
SMEs to collaborate, transform manufacturing sites to smart factories New Straits Times 22nd Mar 2019
Some local and foreign technology service companies are collaborating with each other to enable small and medium enterprises (SME) in Malaysia to transform their traditional manufacturing sites into smart factories. Knowledgecomm Sdn Bhd (Kcom) chief executive officer ST Rubaneswaran said the adoption of factory automation would ultimately enable companies to maximise resources and produce higher-quality goods more efficiently. "Now, it seems possible for Malaysian manufacturing industries adopting the internet of things, wearable technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence and some of other technologies implemented to transform traditional factories into smart ones. “We will map the journey every step towards digitization,” he said at the signing ceremony of MoU between Kcom and other nine technology service companies. Kcom signed a memorandum of understanding with YGL Convergence Sdn Bhd, Monitor ERP Sdn Bhd, Ingram Micro, Solara Systems, Cognitive Consulting, Fast Track Sdn Bhd, Lava Protocols Sdn Bhd, SysArmy Sdn Bhd and Century Software Sdn Bhd. Rubaneswaran said the partnership is the first of its kind in the country and will be a game changer to empower Malaysia as a leader in digital economy in Southeast Asia. He said the cost to automate a factory is between RM200,000 to RM500,000, depending on the size of the factory.
APEC 2020 aspires to use cashless payment Bernama 21st Mar 2019
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit 2020, which will be hosted by Malaysia, aspires to introduce the use of cashless payments (e-wallet). International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking said as the national secretariat of the summit, the ministry has identified local partners to collaborate on the use of the e-wallet. “We want to ensure that all security measures are in place and so far, the e-wallet provider has given its assurance on the matter,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview on the APEC 2020 preparations.
Improving Selangor’s digital infrastructure The Star 20th Mar 2019
VARIOUS telecommunication players will be called together to improve the services of the current WiFi Smart Selangor programme in the state. Selangor Infrastructure and Public Amenities, Agriculture, and Agro-Industry Committee chairman Izham Hashim said in an unprecedented move, the state would be sitting down with telco players to better the digital infrastructure for the WiFi Smart Selangor programme. He said the companies would be put under a digital infrastructure committee spearheaded by Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU) and Smartsel. “SSDU will put their plan forward, and we will see which company is willing to invest in developing the corridor and digital infrastructure,” he said. A meeting was recently held with 10 of the major players where SSDU briefed them about the state’s initiative, including the development of the Selangor Wide Area Network (Swan). “Through this new committee, telco companies will be informed of the prioritised initiatives, and invited to provide input and solutions. The committee will also discuss the best business model for the initiatives,” he added.
Malaysia eager to be early mover of IR 4.0 Bernama 19th Mar 2019
Malaysia is eager to be an early mover of the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0), with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) actively encouraging companies to jump start their digital transformation. MIDA said this was especially important due to the high rate of changes, innovation and uncertainty that exist with any emerging technologies and industry models. “Measures have also been taken to support the development of an agile and skilled workforce capable of supporting businesses in this rapidly evolving environment,” MIDA said in its Malaysia Investment Performance 2018 Report released recently. In its stride to help businesses and stakeholders prepare for and uptake IR 4.0, MIDA has been organising various awareness programmes such as seminars, pocket talks and business-to-business meetings over the years. “Through these, MIDA aims to enlighten companies, academia and the general public on the opportunities and challenges presented by IR 4.0, as well as the available facilities that can be utilised by companies looking to adopt IR 4.0 technologies,” it said. The year 2018 marked a significant stage in the country’s automation journey, as it launched Malaysia’s Industry4WRD -- the national policy on IR 4.0.
Govt draft roadmap to develop and support digital economy in Myanmar The Myanmar Times 14th Mar 2019
Published February 26, the Myanmar Digital Economy Roadmap was drafted with a mission of enabling digital transformation, governance, trade and innovation to develop a digital economy and encourage inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development. That mission is supported by four pillars, a 6 plus 1 strategy, nine priority sectors, 14 goals, 32 short term action plans and 6 longer term action plans, which include drafting a policy to support digital trade and e-commerce, online payments, tax incentives and cybersecurity. They also include drafting a digital economy development master plan and investment promotion plan.
Digital technology boosting tourism — PIDS Philippines Star 27th Mar 2019
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) is eyeing to launch this year a facility which will host a digital identification registry, in line with the industry’s thrust to pursue innovation and financial inclusion in the country. In a statement, newly elected BAP president and Bank of the Philippine Islands president and CEO Cezar Consing said the group is looking forward to the establishment of the BAP ID registry, which seeks to improve the validation process in the banking industry. “The Philippine banking industry is transforming itself so as to continue to be relevant to one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Digitalization, cybersecurity, and financial liberalization are issues foremost on bankers’ minds.The overall objective is increasing financial inclusion – the imperative of our times,” Consing said.
Firms urged to prepare for Telecommuting Act Philippines Star 24th Mar 2019
Globe Telecom is urging enterprises to prepare for a mobile workforce in order to remain competitive in line with the Telecommuting Act which allows employees in the private sector to work from an alternative workplace using information and communication technology (ICT) tools. While the implementing rules and regulations of the law are yet to be released, Globe expects the law to have a huge impact on companies, necessitating the need for enterprises to be prepared. Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Enterprise Group, said companies should already be able to provide an environment that allows employees to collaborate and be productive anywhere in real time. “Given the present-day realities of business, this kind of flexibility is not just desirable but is essential for the digital workforce to adapt easily to disruptive technology. Taking the digital leap means a more efficient and secure manner of doing tasks while being more cost efficient and reliable,” he said. Maquera said cloud-based software, for instance, allows employees to easily work together on a project in real time even if they are in different locations as members of the workforce can access, edit, and share their files wherever they may be.
PCOO: Users inadvertently uploaded IDs to FOI website but no data breach GMA News 23rd Mar 2019
Amid the issue that the identities of those who accessed the Freedom of Information (FOI) services were exposed online, the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) said Saturday that there is no data breach involved in the incidents. PCCO is the lead agency tasked to implement the government's FOI program. "There is no breach," PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan said in a text message to GMA News Online. "Some users inadvertently uploaded their IDs in the public page of the website," Ablan said. In a Facebook, Wilson Chua said the government ID he used to access the FOI website was leaked online. Chua said he already filed a formal complaint with the National Privacy Commission. Typing the keywords "eFOI ID" on internet search engine Google would reveal some of the ID cards used to access the FOI site. "Our office is reviewing all FOI requests to delete any personal files uploaded. We assure the public that ID files uploaded in the account creation page of the website remains secured and protected," Ablan said. Ablan also said his office reported the matter to the National Privacy Commission and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Deadline for 2018 Annual Security Incident Report Indefinitely Postponed Lexology 22nd Mar 2019
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) announced on 21 March 2019 the indefinite postponement of the deadline for filing the annual security incident report (ASIR) for 2018. The initial deadline for filing the 2018 ASIR was 31 March 2019, pursuant to NPC Advisory No. 2018-01 (Guidelines on Security Incident and Personal Data Breach Reportorial Requirements) dated 2 February 2018. The Commission postponed the deadline while it is still revising some of its key processes to “enhance reportorial efficiency,” “harmonize documents submission to the Department of Information and Communications Technology,” and “improve user experience for Personal Information Controllers (PICs) and Personal Information Processors (PIPs).” According to the NPC, its system for previously submitted data, as well as the ASIR templates, will be improved and revised based on existing report templates and stakeholders’ feedback. Clients are urged to continue to collate relevant information on any and all security incidents encountered by your personal information processing activities in order to comply with the requirements of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 for the implementation of “regular monitoring for security incidents and a process for taking preventive, corrective and mitigating action against security incident that can lead to security breach.” The regular monitoring for security incidents also ensures prompt and effective data breach response mechanisms that would enable timely notification to the NPC and affected data subjects, when required, and of the implementation by the PIC of any necessary risk mitigating measures.
Philippines Fintech Push Makes it a Compelling Market to Watch Regulation Asia 19th Mar 2019
Industry veteran Philip Keller explores the approach taken by regulators in the Philippines to encourage fintech innovation and financial sector digitalisation. This article focuses on recent changes in the financial industry in the Philippines, with the introduction of its Fintech Supervisory Sandbox and a special economic zone which encourages fintech. In addition, it explores the alignment of the regulators’ approach with digital transformation in the financial sector, also looking at how businesses can be formed using an electronic approach.
Salesforce sets up AI lab in Singapore, as country aims to drive adoption standards in Asean ZDNet 27th Mar 2019
Salesforce has set up its first international artificial intelligence (AI) research facility in Singapore, where it is aiming to train up to 100 postgraduate students over the next three years, and where the government hopes to help lead the development of AI standards and adoption across Asean. The US software vendor will pool the students from Singapore Management University (SMU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and focus their training in deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP), amongst other fields in AI. The first batch of students will begin their training from August 2019 at the lab, which will be helmed by Salesforce Research Asia's managing director Steven Hoi. The local facility also will work closely with the vendor's main research centre in Palo Alto, collaborating on projects that include NLP, computer vision, and speech recognition, as well as initiate research specific to the region, such as language-based capabilities in chatbots, said Salesforce's chief scientist Richard Socher, who was in Singapore for the launch on Wednesday.
Singapore FinTech Association and FinTech Australia ink memorandum of understanding The Straits Times 22nd Mar 2019
The Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) and FinTech Australia will share resources and allow each other access to investors' communities as part of a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on Thursday (March 21). The agreement aims to contribute to the development of the fintech industry across Asean and in Australia, according to a joint statement by the two industry bodies on Thursday. "They will collaborate from time to time on particular initiatives relating to the fintech industry," the statement said. They would seek input and opinions from each other and also invite each other to participate in relevant events and support each other in their dealings with regulators, it added. SFA president Chia Hock Lai said the MOU will allow FinTech Australia to share resources such as legal counsel and co-working spaces such as FinTech Hub 80RR near Telok Ayer.
Government reviewing way it handles data following cases of mismanagement, breaches The Straits Times 22nd Mar 2019
The Government is reviewing the way it manages its data, following several cases of mishandled information and breaches. Details of this review are not yet available but a spokesman for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) said more information will be shared when ready. Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the spokesman said on Friday (March 22): "The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office is currently reviewing the Government's management of data, and will share more when ready." SNDGG is also conducting a "deeper investigation" to find out why the information of more than 800,000 blood donors here were exposed online for more than two months before the authorities were alerted to it by a cyber security expert. Secur Solutions Group, the IT vendor which the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) engaged to update the records of blood donors, did not have adequate safeguards in place when it put the information on an unsecured database. The SNDGG spokesman said: "The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group is currently conducting a deeper investigation into the incident. The findings will inform us of the measures that need to be implemented and the assistance that HSA will require to rectify the situation."
Login details of Singapore government email accounts found in ‘illegal data banks’ Channel NewsAsia 21st Mar 2019
The logins and passwords of about 50,000 Singapore government email accounts were found in “illegal data banks” in January but most were outdated or "bogus addresses", said authorities on Thursday (Mar 21). “GovTech was alerted to the presence of email credentials in illegal data banks in Jan 2019. These credentials comprise email addresses and passwords provided by individuals,” said a spokesman from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group. About 50,000 of the compromised details were government email addresses, the spokesman added, but only 119 of the addresses were still being used. The rest were "either outdated or bogus addresses", he said.
Two Singapore consortia to develop, trial driverless road cleaning vehicles The Straits Times 21st Mar 2019
Two consortia in Singapore will be undertaking the design, development and trial of driverless vehicles for road cleaning, having been awarded research and development projects by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Ministry of Transport. One consortium comprises Nanyang Technological University, Enway, Veolia ES Singapore Industrial and Wong Fong Engineering Works; the other comprises ST Engineering Land Systems and 800 Super Waste Management, the agencies said in a joint statement on Thursday (March 21). The two consortia will develop and trial one "autonomous environmental service vehicle" (AESV) each, and apply autonomous vehicle (AV) technology to commercial mechanical road sweepers. This will be carried out over 18 months, which includes a one-year development phase, followed by a proof-of-concept (POC) trial over six months.
New rules to keep Singapore contractors clear of underground cables The Business Times 19th Mar 2019
CONTRACTORS carrying out earthworks in Singapore now face standardised rules for projects done near underground telecommunication cables, under a new framework to minimise service disruptions from cable cuts. They must get relevant service layout plans from telecom players and hire licensed cable detection workers to physically mark where the cables in the area are, before works start. In fact, the network operators have to be officially notified at least a week in advance, if the planned underground works will be within 15 metres of any telecommunication cables. Joint site meetings and joint inspections of trial holes - which can be dug only by hand, and not with any machinery or sharp, pointed tools - must also be held to verify the location of the cables, with the contractors, cable detection workers and network operators all present.
Important Changes to the Singapore Data Privacy Regime Lexology 18th Mar 2019
Singapore may soon mandate data breach notifications and data portability via amendments to the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act, or PDPA. The PDPA applies to all organizations that collect, use and disclose data in Singapore, and the PDPA has extraterritorial effect as it applies to all organizations collecting, using or disclosing personal data from individuals in Singapore (whether or not the company has a physical presence in Singapore). The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) issued a statement on March 1 confirming its intent to introduce a mandatory breach notification regime. The notification mandate would require organizations to notify both affected individuals and the PDPC when a data breach risks harm to individuals involved in the breach as well as notify the PDPC regardless of potential impact when there has been a significant data breach (when more than 500 individuals’ personal data is affected). This proposal received widespread public support during recent public consultations. The PDPC also released a discussion paper on the benefits of data portability in late February 2019, signaling an intent to address data portability in future PDPA amendments. Data portability allows individuals to have greater control over their personal data by requesting copies of their data held by an organization in a commonly used format as well as requesting that the organization transmit the data to another organization.
Cyber law raises eyebrows Bangkok Post 15th Mar 2019
A cybersecurity bill introduced just weeks ahead of Thailand's first democratic election since a 2014 military coup has stoked concerns it could be used as a weapon to stifle political dissent. Critics say the broad and vague language in the Cyber Security Act -- passed by the National Legislative Assembly on Feb 28 -- may give the military government powers to seize data and electronic equipment without proper legal oversight. The law will come into effect once it is published in the Royal Gazette, the timing of which is unclear.
PEA joins up with SCB to boost services The Nation 26th Mar 2019
In a bid to enter the digital ecosystem, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) is collaborating with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to develop PEA Energy Intelligence, a fully integrated digital service to help manage business and household utility needs. Aiming to unlock the PEA Hero Platform’s potential to boost energy consumption standards, the new service will analyse existing electricity systems, from procuring and certifying suppliers to installing equipment to boost the efficiency of power consumption, PEA deputy governor Khammarat Sartpreecha said yesterday. SCB’s Wasin Saiyawan said the bank was ready to seamlessly accommodate funding needs for all groups listed in the platform, ranging from large corporations and industrial estates to business operators and households. The bank hopes that offering a full range of convenient services on the platform will help reduce the cost of energy, boost efficiency of energy management and sustain overall energy consumption.
MCOT partners with ETDA to launch WHAM platform Bangkok Post 25th Mar 2019
State-owned broadcaster MCOT, in partnership with the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), will launch WHAM, a platform to promote digital content e-commerce, aiming to spur media innovation and protect intellectual property rights. The ETDA will support development of the digital platform while MCOT will be responsible for developing and managing digital content, as well as arranging activities on the platform to promote content creation. WHAM is scheduled to launch in September this year. On Friday, MCOT's president and ETDA's chief executive signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop WHAM. MCOT president Kematat Paladesh said the broadcaster owns a variety of content on traditional media, but the company needs to partner with a practical carrier to drive and develop content into value-added channels. MCOT operates two digital TV channels, five radio frequency ranges for FM and two AM frequency ranges. MCOT has 62 radio stations nationwide.
State launches telemedicine in rural areas Bangkok Post 21st Mar 2019
The government on Wednesday began development of its telemedicine programme at 32 hospitals in rural areas in eight provinces, encouraging adoption of new technologies and remote medical care. The programme, a joint effort of the Public Health Ministry and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), is a vital part of addressing concerns over rising medical costs and deficient healthcare access in rural areas. Under the telemedicine concept, community hospitals or primary medicine clusters can serve patients in remote areas more efficiently in the event they need a quick consultation for simple ailments. Additionally, telemedicine is expected to reduce expenses for both patients and state-run hospitals by a combined 38 billion baht annually after full implementation within four years. NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the regulator has budgeted 180 million baht to purchase and install digital equipment for telemedicine in the pioneer phase. The budget is part of the NBTC's five-year funding for the operation of hospitals. The broadband internet infrastructure required to operate telemedicine will run through the NBTC's USO (universal service obligation) Net. The USO Net infrastructure will cover 3,920 remote villages nationwide or 600,000 households by June 2019.
OIC working with firms on data law protections Bangkok Post 20th Mar 2019
The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) is working closely with insurance associations and related organisations to prepare for new legislation overseeing personal data protection. Secretary-general Suthipon Thaveechaiyagarn said the OIC is closely monitoring the details of the Personal Data Protection Act, part of which requires businesses to receive customers' consent before disclosing personal information. "We have about one year to prepare before the law becomes effective," Mr Suthipon said. After numerous attempts over nearly two decades, Thailand's Personal Data Protection Act was finally approved and endorsed by the National Legislative Assembly on Feb 28. Drafted to resemble the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, the act will be submitted for royal endorsement and subsequent publication in the Royal Gazette.
Somkid says 5G infrastructure a priority Bangkok Post 19th Mar 2019
Thailand must adopt 5G technology next year to prevent the country from lagging behind Vietnam, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak warned on Monday after a meeting with state enterprises. "If Thailand wants to see exponential growth, like China, it is vital for the nation to embrace the digital era," he said, adding that the government has made digital development one of its priorities. The commercial sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), needs to adopt digital technology to improve their efficiency but many are yet to begin the process, he said. Adopting 5G in Thailand remains in limbo with the three mobile operators -- Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Move -- lobbying the government to delay the final payments on their bid fees for the 900-megahertz spectrum auction. Without the postponement, they claim that they will not have enough capital to invest in 5G, which is expected to cost them in excess of 200 billion baht each.
NBTC targets batteries in wearables Bangkok Post 18th Mar 2019
The telecom regulator is considering measures to govern quality standards for batteries in wearable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) items in order to prevent consumer harm. The move is part of ongoing efforts to beef up standards for batteries used in smartphones. On Sunday the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), in collaboration with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Electrical and Electronics Institute (EEI), launched a campaign to educate consumers to look for an industrial standard mark on smartphone boxes with batteries before making purchases. Consumers can also verify quality standards of batteries via mobile app and the NBTC's website. Korkij Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said smart devices are widespread and battery safety is an important issue. In the past few years, there have been several incidents of non-standard batteries that overheated or exploded, causing damage and injury to users.
BSA expects drop in unlicensed software Bangkok Post 14th Mar 2019
The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a non-profit trade group sponsored by Microsoft, expects unlicensed software in Thailand to decline at a faster pace because of the upcoming Cybersecurity Act and Data Protection Act. In 2018, 395 unlicensed cases were reported, valued at over 661 million baht. The previous year there were 245 cases worth 466 million baht. The piracy rate should drop by 3-4% every two years, faster than the normal dip of 1-2%, now that the Cybersecurity Act and Data Protection Act were passed by the National Legislative Assembly, said Tarun Sawney, senior director of the BSA. According to an IDC survey commissioned by the BSA, the piracy rate was 66% in 2017, down from 68% in 2015. The new laws enable businesses to invest in cybersecurity, especially in critical infrastructure and data security that makes companies assess legal/ illegal software. Software asset management of unlicensed software is a front line in the fight against hackers. Illegal software programs also lead to data security breach, which can hurt companies’ reputations.
Digital trade and opportunities for Vietnam discussed Voice of Vietnam 26th Mar 2019
Vietnam has been earning significant revenue from digital trade, which could be higher in the future, Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung said at a workshop in Hanoi on March 26. According to a report on “The Data Revolution: How Vietnam can capture the digital trade opportunity at home and abroad” released by AlphaBeta, the economic value of digital trade-enabled benefits to the Vietnamese economy is estimated to be worth 81 trillion VND (3.5 billion USD) in 2017 but this could grow to 953 trillion VND (41 billion USD) by 2030. Besides, digital exports brought home 97 trillion VND, which will increase to 652 trillion VND ahead of 2030, the report said. Economists suggested Vietnam work to reduce limitations relating to foreign investment, competition policies, and cross-border data flow. Konstantin Matthies, a representative from AlphaBeta, said the Vietnamese Government and policy makers should consider the importance of digital trade in building economy and trade policies. Experts advised businesses to make use of opportunities from digital trade by increasing connectivity with overseas markets and domestic productivity.
Vietnam learns international experience in building e-government Voice of Vietnam 23rd Mar 2019
A workshop was held in Hanoi on March 22 to seek ways to improve the institutional framework for e-identification and e-authentication in e-government development towards a digital government and economy in Vietnam. The event was co-organised by the Vietnamese Government’s Office, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the World Bank, and the Australia Agency for International Development. Participants shared effective models which are being carried out in some countries such as Estonia, Singapore, Thailand, and Denmark, and talked about challenges during the implementation process. Minister and Chairman of the Government’s Office Mai Tien Dung said e-identification and e-authentication in e-government building is important to the reliability of e-transactions, especially online public services. He said nearly one billion people globally lack identification while the remaining 6.6 billion people have some form of identification but more than half of the identification forms cannot be used effectively in the today’s digital ecosystem. He pointed to the fact in Vietnam that individuals and organisations have many codes such as health insurance codes, social insurance codes, tax codes, and bank deposit codes.
Deputy PM: Developing 5G important to ASEAN nations Voice of Vietnam 22nd Mar 2019
Developing 5G - the next generation of mobile internet connectivity – is of significance to the growth of Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam stated at the first ASEAN Conference on 5G in Hanoi on March 22. Dam noted that initial steps to develop a new technology are always challenging. Therefore, the government should take the initiative in supporting enterprises to minimise risks. He stressed the need to boost innovation and at the same time seek measures to address shortcomings related to information security and safety. The Deputy PM suggested participating delegates discuss towards a suitable roadmap to the development of 5G, including identifying opportunities and challenges, and putting forward solutions. Speaking at the opening ceremony on March 21, Minister of Information and Communication (MIC) Nguyen Manh Hung said that 5G will be the most important part of the infrastructure for the digital economy thanks to its greater bandwidth, higher speeds and lower latency. He stated that the digital economy is creating new opportunities, noting that new technologies will enable better connectivity between supply chains, and reduce logistics and business costs.
HCM City to use AI to build smart city Vietnam News 21st Mar 2019
City authorities are planning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to further their scheme to develop a smart city, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, told a seminar on AI research and application on Wednesday. “Though the city has applied AI technologies in a number of sectors, it lags behind other cities in the world in AI research and training,” he said. “It lacks AI experts, scientists and policymakers.” Phong said the city should catch up with the global trend of AI. “Such efforts include investment in training skilled workers and building an open-source database.” In addition, training in the field remains limited because of a lack of funding, he said, adding that both State and business investments are badly needed. “Although HCM City has paid great attention to AI, the city lacks a staff capable of accessing AI research at the global level,” Phong noted. Linkages between the state, enterprises, scientists and investors should also be promoted, he said. AI is being used in many fields, including transport, public security, production, finance and e-commerce, among others.
Release of a new Draft Decree amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No. 06/2016/ND-CP on the Management, Provision and use of radio and television services Lexology 20th Mar 2019
The Ministry of Information and Communications recently released Version 5 of the draft decree ("Draft Decree") amending Decree No. 06 06/2016/NDCP of the Government dated 18 January 2016 on the management, provision, and use of radio and television services ("Decree No. 06"). The Draft Decree has been sent to stakeholders for consultation purposes and amendments are continuously being made. The most notable change in the Draft Decree is the removal of all sections relating to "on-demand service on the Internet" ("ODSI"), which explicitly covers over-the-top ("OTT") content services. It does however appear that changes have been made only to the structure and not the substance, in other words, the Draft Decree will likely instead regulate OTT content services. Below are some of the Draft Decree's proposed amendments to Decree No. 06. Broader Definition of Radio and Television Services While the draft released prior to this Draft Decree introduced ODSI as a new category of radio and television services and provided statutory requirements accordingly, this Draft Decree has removed all references to ODSI. The current Decree No. 06 defines "radio and television services" as: ...telecommunications application services to provide intact domestic and foreign radio and television program channels and value added services via broadcasting infrastructure to services users.
Internet users warned of ransomware attacks Vietnam News 18th Mar 2019
The Việt Nam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) has reported that GandCrab ransomware affiliates which had been spreading globally over the past year had updated to version 5.2 and the team was taking measures to disconnect with GandCrab server to avoid damages. According to Nguyễn Khắc Lịch, VNCERT deputy head, the latest version of the ransomware family had been attacking Việt Nam and other Southeast Asian countries since mid-March this year. VNCERT has issued a high alert for internet-connected computers because GandCrab’s ransomware contains high risks and could steal and encrypt all data saved on attacked computers. In Việt Nam, GrandCrab 5.2 ransomware is concealed as archive files ending with documents that end with .rar attached in emails disguised as being sent by the Ministry of Public Security titled “Goi/Gei trong Cong an Nhan dan Viet Nam”. The encryption attacks the computer when users decompress or open the attached files and directs to download a browser which then logs into the attacker’s digital currency payment window with the required ransom package of US$400 to $1,000.
Vietnam, Cambodia boost postal, telecoms, ICT cooperation Voice of Vietnam 15th Mar 2019
Vietnam and Cambodia have signed three cooperation agreements on postal services and telecommunications, information security and digital signature. The two sides reached the deals after the talks between Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung and Cambodian Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tek in Phnom Penh on March 14. During his working visit to Cambodia from March 13-16, Hung informed his the Cambodian minister about the development of Vietnam’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector. According to the Vietnamese minister, Vietnam is focusing on developing logistics to promote e-commerce and telecom infrastructure as foundations for digital economic development; testing 5G mobile network; developing e-Government and smart cities; monitoring cyberspace and ensuring cyber security for government agencies and key information infrastructure facilities; and developing a digital ecosystem. For his part, Tram Iv Tek said as part of efforts to promote Cambodia's quadrangle development strategy, the government has paid attention to promoting high-speed internet connectivity, developing e-Government from central to grassroots levels and opening postal services to communes.