AMATA Corporation’s imagination takes flight as it looks forward to working with strategic partners such as telcos to leverage on the possibilities of 5G, in its focus areas such as manufacturing, smart services, and urban solutions.
In our last be in conversation series featuring our BEACON members, find out from Lena Ng, Chief Investment Officer, AMATA Corporation why she sees telcos play the key role helping enterprises with security, encourage more collaboration and innovation.
AMATA Corp as I understand is the largest listed company in The Thai Stock Exchange in the category of industrial estate. Maybe you can share what exactly does AMATA Corp do, and your aspiration for the company?
AMATA Corp is a Thai conglomerate which is involved in multi-sectoral business. We started out from the Industrial City Development in Thailand and now we have transformed into Smart City Development. We also provide power, utilities and smart city services to our international clients. Our aspiration is to be one of the top 10 smart cities globally so that we can serve our clients and also work with other strategic partners such as Bridge Alliance and definitely other telcos.
So in the last 12 to 15 months, the world has spun into a new normal. How has all this that’s happening so fast in the last 12 to 15 months, impacted your business and the way you run business?
One of the key challenges that many businesses face in terms of the disruption of business travel and a lot of the business decisions with regards to the acquisition of Land Bank., as well as development projects being on hold in that situation. Our clients have also been impacted in the supply chain disruption, so we do see these challenges but with the help of technology, we are able to seize the opportunities to explore with like-minded partners and use technology in terms of communications, sharing of ideas and getting the prep work done for the whole of last year. In fact, it has quite a fair bit of developments with regards to strategic partnership because of like-minded partners like yourself.
So talking about technology, telcos are very excited about 5G, and we are moving into the 5G era. So if you look at 5G and the possibility that 5G is bringing, how do you think your business in the area of developing industrial estate can leverage on 5G? And what is the imagination in terms of the future of 5G?
Yeah in fact, we’re on progress to transform from industrial city development to smart city development after working with the Yokohama city for the last four to five years and we are on the right transformation journey. So we have also worked with the largest telco in Thailand, which is AIS. We have a joint venture which is called Amata Network. And we are looking into the provision of 5G infrastructure for our key clients in the manufacturing sector so they can look into areas like IoT, IoT for manufacturing, and also to leverage for smart manufacturing in their factory. As earlier, we mentioned about the challenges caused by the COVID pandemic. Many have also realized that it is important to use the right technology at the right time to introduce and induce some innovation and creativity. So I think 5G will come in a timely manner. In AMATA, location-wise, we’re right in the middle of the Thailand Eastern Economic Corridor. So in that area, about 80% of the 5G infrastructure is almost ready here by the EEC Office which is from the Thai government. So in this case, when the infrastructure is ready, a lot of the value-added providers can provide different types of services leveraging on 5G. We’re talking to some of the vendors that provide very innovative street lighting. We are also talking to some smart mobility players. So leveraging on 5G is as wide as your imagination can take you but we would like to focus on our core which Is in terms of manufacturing, smart services, and also in terms of the operation which is the urban solution for our clients that is already in our estate. I think we have close to about 300,000 working population in our city. So we look forward to more innovative solution providers that could leverage on 5G technologies to work with us.
So beyond 5G, a lot of enterprises are also looking at digital transformation right? When we talk about it, it’s such a broad word. Enterprises are now looking at different means to engage their consumer or customers. That’s an area that telcos are very passionate about in exposing different component of telcos to be consumed as APIs. So that enterprises can embed those into our workflow. Going forward, what’s your view can do more to accelerate the journey of digital transformation for your end customers?
Going forward, because one of the top concern for all of the enterprise customers are in fact on security. The role of a telco, you could change into providing a core centralized secured platform which will actually serve as a filter or actually a protection for those who are a startup, and the core centralized secured platform enterprise. If not, there will be a huge enterprise risk if we were to expose our operations by using technology. So it is a double-edged sword. And I hope telcos can play this key role with regards to a secured platform. And also at the end of the day, if telcos could also move away from the discrete elements but into more of the virtualized cloud infrastructure, and it could actually provide the infrastructure-as-a-service. If more enterprises like ourselves and even our partners and clients can be engaged or use the service, then I think we could get the economies of scale and everybody could benefit. I would envisage the role of telcos to be of providing the security of the platform, to encourage more collaboration and also in terms of really helping to gather some of this innovation together.