Telecoms giant NTT Corporation’s Thai subsidiary plans to launch a major innovation lab focused on blockchain, artificial intelligence and internet of things technology. Thai English-language newspaper the Bangkok Post reported on the development on April 23.

NTT Communications (NTT Com) Thailand is the local operating unit of NTT Com Group, a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Corporation — Japan’s largest telecoms firm and the world’s third-largest telecoms firm by revenue.

According to the Bangkok Post, the new lab is slated for launch in the second quarter of 2019, and comes in addition to NTT Com Thailand’s existing 500 million baht ($15.6 million) investment to secure additional space for data centers at its Amata Industrial Estate. The company’s president, Manabu Kahara, is quoted as saying that:

"The NTT innovation lab will introduce a playground for customers and partners to do proof-of-concept, development for disruptive technologies such as blockchain, IoT, AI, hybrid cloud and software-defined networks.”

The report notes that NTT Com Thailand is planning to use its innovation lab to develop blockchain solutions for the financial and insurance sectors, as well as to “serve as preventive maintenance for smart factories.”

The Bangkok Post reports on further details of NTT Com Thailand’s expansion plans and projects to meet the growing demands of cloud service operators, financial institutions, cybersecurity service providers and other enterprises, with an overall ambition to grow its business by 30% by 2021.

As reported earlier this month, worldwide blockchain applications in the telecoms sector are forecast to generate $1.37 billion in revenue by 2024, according to a recent analysis from Irish global market research store Research and Markets.

Also in April, KT Corporation — South Korea’s largest telecoms firm — launched its blockchain-powered 5G network brand, which aims to boost the security of internet of things devices.