The GSMA is hoping to facilitate the flow of information throughout Southeast Asia through the implementation of a new Regulatory Pilot Space (RPS). According to the GSMA, the RPS will essentially serve as a “regulatory sandbox” that allows ASEAN businesses to test new tech solutions in a way that is compliant with the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection.
The RPS will give companies the opportunity to fix potential problems before releasing new products to the general public. The sandbox will also provide a unified set of standards that will promote further technological innovation. As it stands, the ten ASEAN member countries all have different data regulations, and the fractured market can make it prohibitively difficult to develop digital technologies and services that send information across international borders.
“The Regulatory Pilot Space will empower businesses to experiment with innovative products and services within a managed environment,” said Telenor Group SVP Christian Wulff Søndergaard. “We believe that this initiative will help to build trust with all stakeholders involved, including companies, governments, and consumers.”
“Through promoting cross border data flows, the APAC region is set to accelerate economic activity and drive the development of new technologies, platforms, services and infrastructure,” added GSMA Asia-Pacific Head of Public Policy Emanuela Lecchi.
The RPS is part of a broader ASEAN Cross-Border Data Flow Mechanism that was approved at the most recent ASEAN Technology Ministers Meeting in October. The ASEAN member countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The move is in keeping with the GSMA’s recent efforts to boost economic development in the APAC region. In September, the organization expanded the scope of its APAC IoT Partnership Programme, which includes 32 IoT operators in 16 different countries. The GSMA’s report on China’s Mobile Economy also detailed the country’s massive investment in 5G infrastructure.