Thailand is on the right track to become an information and communications technology (ICT) hub for the Greater Mekong Subregion by 2015 to capitalise on opportunities stemming from the launch of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap, the ICT minister, said his ministry wants the country's broadband network to reach 80% of the population over the next two years.
The two state telecom enterprises, TOT Plc and CAT Telecom, expect to lift the number of their fixed-based broadband ports to 2 million before the launch of the AEC in late 2015.
The figure is projected to rise to 5 million by 2018.
"Thailand is also shifting towards IP-based networks under a digital environment," Gp Capt Anudith said.
He said Thailand can become an ICT hub because of its location and well-established telecommunications and ICT infrastructure.
Under its ICT master plan for 2014-18, the ministry has set a goal to improve Thailand's ICT ranking and promote the use of smart networks among private and state agencies under its Thailand Smart Community 2018 concept.
"In order to boost people's access to information, we aim to expand the country's telecom infrastructure to cover 87% of the population by 2015 and 95% by 2020," Gp Capt Anudith said.
The ministry is also on the verge of amending impractical telecom-related laws to enhance the industry. The Computer Crime Act of 2007 needs to be updated, he said.
Gp Capt Anudith said TOT and CAT are also gearing up for its fibre-optic network development plan to accommodate expanding wireless data traffic.
Thailand, in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union, will co-host ITU Telecom World 2013 under the theme of "ITU 2013 Is Embracing Change in a Digital World".
The event will be held at Impact Muang Thong Thani from Nov 19-22.
Gp Capt Anudith said it is aimed at encouraging member countries to shift towards IP-based networks and services.