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Internet access in Thailand to reach 50%

The number of internet users in Thailand will reach 35 million this year or half the population, says the information and communication technology (ICT) minister.

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The number of internet users in Thailand will reach 35 million this year or half the population, says the information and communication technology (ICT) minister.

Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap said the figure marks an increase from 26.5 million users or 37.9% of the population last year and 9 million 12.9% in 2011.

The Thai government is gearing up to expand free WiFi coverage

The Thai government is gearing up to expand free WiFi coverage in order to narrow the digital divide.

Gp Capt Anudith credited the rise to the availability of third-generation (3G) commercial service, cheaper smart devices, a greater variety of mobile applications and free public WiFi.

While the penetration rate for fixed-line internet remains low at 10% of the population, the penetration rate for mobile devices is 136%.

“This reflects a greater opportunity for mobile internet expansion,” said Gp Capt Anudith.

 

The ICT Ministry in conjunction with state enterprises and private telecom operators currently provides 140,000 free WiFi access points in 30,000 locations

The ministry plans to add a further 150,000 access points next year under a 950-million-baht budget sponsored by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Gp Capt Anudith said Thailand’s telecommunications infrastructure covers 87% of the population

Read the full report here: Half of Thais now on the internet | Bangkok Post: news.

Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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