Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Thailand Telecommunications Report Q2 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/15/2014 -- Thailand's telecoms market is characterised by a mobile market approaching saturation, a fixed-line market that has been in decline since 2007 and a low broadband penetration rate. The successful launch of 3G services in May 2013 offers some potential in the market, but the heavy degree of state control and ineffectual regulation of the telecoms sector to date, coupled with political uncertainty and the economic fallout from the 2011 floods and weak global economy, do not in our view, present a favourable investment climate.
- We have upgraded our outlook for mobile subscription growth in the Q314 update on the basis of regulatory data for H113 that came in above our expectations. Over the coming years, we foresee 3G/4G cannibalising the existing mobile user base, rather than adding new customers.
- Price competition and aggressive marketing campaigns are exerting downwards pressure on mobile ARPU. Furthermore, declining SMS volumes are threatening operator revenues and margins, as subscribers adopt IP alternatives such as WhatsApp and Viber.
- The fixed-line market is stagnating and we expect it will decline by an average of 3% a year over our five-year forecast period 2013-2018, bringing penetration down to 7.7% in 2018.
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Key Trends And Developments
Thailand's wireline operators are expected to face an intensification of competition from 2014. In June 2013, AIS' parent company InTouch stated that it planned to target growth in Thailand's fixed broadband market. The expansion in the wireline market is a key part of the company's five-year strategic plan, alongside investment in 3G and 4G infrastructure. InTouch is currently examining whether to invest in its own high-speed fixed broadband network or to rent infrastructure from another operator. The final decision was to be made by YE13, with investment beginning in 2014. The presence of the leading mobile operator in the wireline market would threaten existing operators because of the potential for growth via converged services.
True Corp announced that it was set to proceed with plans to establish and publicly list an infrastructure fund in July 2013. The fund will contain towers and fibre-optic network infrastructure, through which True will lease back capacity. True hopes to raise THB70bn (US$2.25bn) as part of its drive to reduce debts by 70%, which also includes plans to sell non-core assets for around THB5bn. The necessity to reduce its debt burden comes as it invests in wireless data network infrastructure without the support of a foreign investor, unlike its major rivals.
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