Retail in Asia


True introduces 5G digital hub for gamers

A new site for youngsters that aims to capture the lifestyle trends of gaming and future skills has been launched by SET-listed telecom operator True Corporation, real estate developer Siam Piwat Group and content producer Kantana Group with THB 300 million investment. On the fourth floor of Bangkok’s Siam Discovery mall, the digital hub measures more than 2,000 square metres.

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“The investment was made with three partners to establish an advanced digital hub for young people into gaming and e-sports,” Kantana Group content and marketing director, Jiraj Kaljaruek, said.

A significant milestone in Thailand’s digital economy, the hub will provide the first “gaming experience” in ASEAN, according to Kaljarue. The executive said the hub focuses on a world of gaming and pop culture, including cosplay activities, with six main attractions. In addition to the common area for events, there is a Pro Space where players can train and plan; a Play Room for games; a Moon Room for exhibitions; a VIP room for private discussions; and a Future Gym for digital skills training, such as e-sports, coding, game production, and metaverse.

As part of the hub, youth will also have the opportunity to develop skills and lifestyles they are interested in, which have a combined economic value of up to THB 37.6 billion, he said. The Gen-Z generation accounts for a quarter of the country’s population, and they are willing to spend money on what they are passionate about.

“We will gain revenue from sponsorship and membership later,” he added.

It is expected that the hub will increase Siam Discovery’s foot traffic by 15 percent from the existing 30,000 visitors a day, adding at least 1,000 more people per day, said Jatuporn Laosongchitra, Siam Piwat’s senior vice-president for core business development. Approximately 300,000 people visit Siam Discovery each day, along with Siam Paragon and Siam Centre, within Siam Square.

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True’s 5G working group head, Piroon Paireepairit, said the hub will be part of True’s e-sports ecosystem, which will allow users to experience online and offline at the same time. Using True’s 5G services will attract young people, he said. In Thailand, some 80 percent of e-sports players play using mobile devices, while another 20 percent play using PCs, so 5G could be a turning point for gaming support, according to Paireepairit. There are more than 16 million gamers in Thailand, according to True.