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Thailand - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

  • December 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 84 pages

4G LTE set to gain traction in 2016 to spur on mobile broadband adoption
A generally improved commercial environment has presented increased opportunities for the development of the internet in Thailand. Over the last decade, the estimated number of internet users in the country has increased more than fourfold. Internet user penetration reached 38% in 2015. ISPs have recovered from their earlier reputation for unreliable performance and a failure to invest in improved infrastructure; and the government has been fixing the regulatory regime.

The Thai telecom market is a complex commercial environment, with a mix of state-owned companies and private operators functioning under a wide variety of corporate and regulatory structures and interfaces.

There are three major fixed-line operators – one government-owned and two private. Fixed-line services are outnumbered by mobile phone services by a ratio of more than 15 to one. While reasonably good infrastructure has been put in place to support data services, this segment of the market has only recently been experiencing significant growth.

What was once an all-powerful duopoly - AIS and DTAC – was still dominating the market despite the entry of a number of new players. Number three in the market, True Move, has been the only one to challenge the big two in any fashion, however. The market is still in need of regulatory change and the will to address this will be a big factor in shaping the future market.

The country has been making a strong push into broadband services. Fixed broadband penetration continues to grow slowly in Thailand reaching 30% household penetration in 2015. There have also been changes in the wireless broadband market with the roll-out of more 3G networks followed by 4G/LTE. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) continues to grow strongly in major metropolitan areas. In 2015 AIS commercially launched its residential fibre broadband service, ‘AIS Fibre’, offering connection speeds of up to 1Gbps via FTTH. In late 2015 the Provincial Electricity Authority announced the rollout of the countrys first smart grid electricity project, by early 2018.

The local mobile sector has seen a sustained period of high competition with heavy price-cutting as the battle for market share raged. There is likely to be a push for consolidation, especially as the market gets closer to saturation. The government’s sectoral reform should also have a major impact on the shape and direction of the market. Mobile subscriber penetration saw a significant fall in 2014/15 due to decline in subscriber growth by all operators, especially DTAC. 3G penetration continues to grow very strongly, with over 90% of subscribers now on 3G networks in 2015.

Key developments:
Mobile subscriber penetration saw a significant fall in 2014/15.
3G penetration continues to grow very strongly, with over 90% of subscribers now on 3G networks.
DTAC has a THB14 billion investment in 3G/4G network expansion totalling 6,500 sites nationwide.
AIS plans to increase its 3 DTAC plans to implement VoLTE, over its 4G network.
NTT Com has launched a mobile data-only service under a MVNO licence.
WiFi continues to grow strongly in Thailand. AIS is rolling out ‘Super Wi-Fi’ access points.
TOT is adding WiFi hotspot capabilities to 10,000 public telephone booths in greater Bangkok.
True Corp announced plans for a transformation of its fixed and wireless broadband networks.
AIS launched fibre broadband and an IPTV services.
Steps were taken by True and CAT Telecom to introduce cloud computing platforms.
The NBTC issued cable and satellite pay TV operator licences of up to 15-year duration.
The IPTV market was continuing to position itself to grow substantially in the coming years.

Table Of Contents

Thailand - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
1. Key statistics
1.1 Country overview
1.1.1 Background and Economy
1.1.2 Military coup in Thailand
2. Telecommunications market
2.1 Overview
3. Regulatory environment
3.1 Regulatory reform
3.1.1 Telecommunications Act 2001
3.1.2 Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT)
3.2 Regulatory authorities
3.2.1 National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
3.2.2 National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)
3.2.3 Master Plans (including Frequency Allocation Master Plan)
4. Major operators
4.1 Operating environment for operators
4.1.1 Market overview
4.1.2 Operator statistics
4.2 Major operators
4.2.1 Advanced Info Service (AIS)
4.2.2 DTAC
4.2.3 True Corp
4.2.4 Telephone Organization of Thailand Corp (TOT)
4.2.5 Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT)
4.2.6 TTandT
5. Telecommunications infrastructure
5.1 Fixed-line network
5.1.1 Statistics
5.1.2 Forecasts fixed-line subscribers 2015; 2020
5.1.3 Public payphones
5.2 International infrastructure
5.2.1 Overview
5.2.2 Submarine cable networks
5.2.3 Submarine cable systems under construction or proposed
5.2.4 Satellite networks
6. Internet market
6.1 Overview
6.2 One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project
6.3 Smart Nation Smart Grid Project
6.4 Cloud services
6.5 Data Centres
6.6 Internet statistics
6.7 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2020
6.8 ISP market
6.8.1 Overview
6.8.2 Market restructuring
6.9 Thailand's internet gateway exchanges
6.9.1 Overview
6.9.2 Opening up of gateway market
6.10 Regulatory issues
6.10.1 Background
6.11 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7. Broadband market
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Broadband statistics
7.3 Major broadband operators
7.3.1 Statistics
7.4 National Broadband Policy
7.5 Wireless internet
7.5.1 WiFi
7.6 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8. Digital media
8.1 Overview
8.2 Regulatory environment
8.3 Digital TV
8.3.1 Background
8.3.2 Licensing process
8.4 Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)
8.4.1 Advanced Datanetwork Communications Ltd (ADC)
8.4.2 TTandT
8.4.3 TOT
8.4.4 True
8.4.5 Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT)
8.4.6 CAT
8.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
8.6 Pay TV
8.6.1 Introduction
8.6.2 Pay TV licensing
8.6.3 Statistics
8.6.4 True Visions
8.6.5 Cable Thai Holding (CTH)
8.6.6 Planetcomm
9. Digital economy
9.1 Smart Nation / Digital Economy
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview
10.1.1 2100MHZ 3G launch marks big change in market
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2015; 2020
10.4 Competition
10.5 OTT
10.6 Regulatory developments
10.6.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.6.2 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
10.6.3 CAT Telecom / TrueMove partnership
10.6.4 National security
10.6.5 Frequency spectrum issues
10.6.6 Tariffs
10.6.7 Interconnection charges
10.6.8 3G roaming agreements
10.7 Mobile technologies
10.7.1 CDMA
10.7.2 PCT service
10.7.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.7.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.7.5 Third Generation (3G) mobile
10.7.6 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
10.8 Mobile voice services
10.8.1 Prepaid
10.9 Mobile data services
10.9.1 Overview
10.9.2 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.9.3 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
10.9.4 Mobile payment schemes
10.10 Mobile content and applications
10.10.1 Overview
10.10.2 Mobile TV
Table 1 Country statistics 2015
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2015
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2015
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Thailand's real GDP growth rate 2006 - 2015
Table 8 Mobile operators, subscribers, annual change and market share 2015
Table 9 3G subscribers by Mobile Operator 2015
Table 10 AIS: Historical subscribers and market share 2004; 2007 - 2014
Table 11 AIS: subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 12 AIS: 3G subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 13 AIS: ARPU (postpaid, prepaid and blended) 2007 - 2015
Table 14 AIS: number of data users 2008 - 2014
Table 15 AIS: proportion of revenue from non-voice 2008 - 2014
Table 16 AIS: capital expenditure 2008 - 2014
Table 17 DTAC: total mobile subscribers and market share 2002 - 2015
Table 18 DTAC: 3G subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 19 DTAC: Mobile data subscribers 2011 2012: 2014
Table 20 DTAC: ARPU (postpaid, prepaid and blended) 2008 - 2015
Table 21 True's fixed-line subscribers 2004 - 2014
Table 22 True's fixed line ARPU 2004 - 2014
Table 23 True's payphone ARPU 2004 - 2014
Table 24 True Move: total mobile subscribers and market share 2004 - 2015
Table 25 True Move: 3G subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 26 True Move: ARPU (postpaid, prepaid and blended) 2007 - 2014
Table 27 TrueOnline's fixed broadband subscribers 2001 - 2014
Table 28 Historical - TrueOnline's fixed internet subscribers 2003 - 2012
Table 29 TOT's fixed-line subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 30 TOT's total revenues 2005 - 2013
Table 31 TOT's payphones 2005 - 2013
Table 32 TOT: 3G subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 33 TOT's broadband services 2007 - 2013
Table 34 TOT's broadband internet ports in service 2011
Table 35 Thai Mobile Telecom's subscriber growth 2002 - 2009
Table 36 CAT Telecom's historical subscriber growth 2006 2009; 2012
Table 37 Hutchison CAT: historical subscribers and market share 2003; 2007 - 2010
Table 38 TTandT's fixed-line subscribers 2009 - 2013
Table 39 Triple T Broadband's subscribers 2004; 2007 2012
Table 40 Fixed lines and teledensity 1995 - 2015
Table 41 Historical - Estimated fixed-line subscribers by operator 2012
Table 42 Historical - Estimated fixed-line subscribers metro vs provincial 2011
Table 43 Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration rate 2015; 2020
Table 44 Public payphones in service 2004 - 2013
Table 45 Historical - Public payphones by provider 2012
Table 46 Historical - Internet users 1996 - 2006
Table 47 Internet users 2007 - 2015
Table 48 Historical - Fixed internet subscribers 1997 - 2005
Table 49 Fixed internet subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 50 International internet bandwidth 2000 - 2015
Table 51 Forecast fixed broadband internet subscribers and penetration 2015; 2020
Table 52 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2001 - 2015
Table 53 DSL subscribers 2002 - 2014
Table 54 Cable modem subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 55 Mobile broadband subscribers 2011 - 2015
Table 56 Major fixed broadband providers and subscribers 2014
Table 57 True fixed broadband subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 58 Historical Fibre-based broadband subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 59 Key broadcasting statistics 2014
Table 60 Digital TV licence categories number of licences and bidders October 2013
Table 61 Historical - Pay TV subscribers 1996 - 2002
Table 62 Historical - Pay TV subscribers by platform 2002 - 2009
Table 63 Cable TV subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 64 Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 65 True Visions total subscribers 1998 - 2014
Table 66 True Visions Pay TV and FTA subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 67 True Visions pay TV ARPU 2003 - 2014
Table 68 Mobile subscribers, penetration and annual growth 1999 - 2015
Table 69 Mobile operators, subscribers, annual change and market share 2015
Table 70 Total 3G mobile subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 71 3G subscribers by Mobile Operator 2015
Table 72 Mobile services revenue and ARPU 1998 - 2015
Table 73 ARPU by Major Operator 2015
Table 74 Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2015; 2020
Table 75 Historical Mobile subscribers prepaid and postpaid 2006 - 2013
Table 76 Mobile broadband subscribers 2011 - 2014
Chart 1 - Fixed lines and teledensity - 2003-2014
Chart 2 - Internet users - 2007 - 2015
Chart 3 Fixed Internet subscribers 2007 - 2014
Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2002 - 2015
Chart 5 - Mobile services revenue and ARPU - 2004 - 2015
Chart 6 - Mobile operators and market share 2015
Exhibit 1 Major operators by market segment
Exhibit 2 Submarine cable networks - 2012
Exhibit 3 Thaicom's satellite network June 2014
Exhibit 4 Licensed ISPs in Thailand 2012
Exhibit 5 ISPs operated by telecom companies
Exhibit 6 International internet gateway operators in Thailand 2011
Exhibit 7 FTA TV Broadcasters
Exhibit 8 Major mobile operators and foreign shareholders June 2013

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