By Sasiwimon Boonruang, Bangkok Post 15/02/2008 URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/communications/0,39044192,62037858,00.htm

The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec) has rolled out a five-year radio frequency identification (RFID) technology roadmap to promote the local RFID industry and to serve potential business sectors.

The five-year roadmap (from 2008 to 2012) focuses on RFID use in Thailand for tracking animals and food, logistics, transportation and in the financial sector.

Between 2007 and 2008, RFID applications in Thailand have been used for access control and for animal tracking, according to Nectec's research team. The technology will be expanded to cover supply chain management and logistics, as well as industrial and manufacturing automation. In the near future, RFID in Thailand is expected to be used in the transportation, financial and healthcare sectors.

Nectec noted that the basic technologies where development should be accelerated in the short term included wireless, embedded systems, micro controllers, microwave, multi-readers and software, such as databases, as well as developing an RFID knowledge base.

Currently, companies here that use logistics RFID applications include Western Digital (Thailand), PTT and SCG Logistics Management. However, no company is running RFID actively for wholesale and retail as they are studying the return on their investment.

RFID technology, meanwhile, has been used for electronic toll collection using dedicated short range communications.

The first-stage expressway has run an active tag system at 2.4GHz and expects that over the next two years, it will transfer to a passive tag system at 5.8GHz and would expand this to the second stage expressway.

In the future, RFID will be used in transportation for such applications as advanced traveler information, near-field communications and for non-transit payments.

Phaophak Siriruk, adviser for Nectec's roadmap development project, said the goals of the five-year roadmap include having more RFID use in animal tracking and food traceability for export within three years, more RFID use in logistics and supply chains within five years, to have at least an additional 10 projects involving RFID R&D and to have a bigger proportion of local RFID products and services.

Citing a report made by technology market researchers VDC, Drew Nathason, from the company's RFID practice, said that in 2008, RFID would grow to be worth over US$5 billion (157 billion baht) worldwide by 2008. The market's compound annual growth rate was estimated to be approximately 34 percent, of which software and services have the highest growth. The total services market by 2008 is over US$2 billion (62.7 billion baht).