BMI View: We maintain our view that the focus in the Thai mobile sector in 2016 will be on 4G, as operators forked out exorbitant amounts for valuable spectrum in 2015. The spectrum will enable operators to expand their LTE networks and value-added-services (VAS) without having the state-owned operators taking a cut, as per the previous BTO-concession model. On the fixed broadband side, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and ICT ministry have laid out investment and roll-out plans for a national broadband network, using proceeds from the spectrum auction, enlisting state-owned CAT and TOT to carry it out. However, the lack of regulator independence and a political agenda in telecoms still inhibit development of the industry. Looking ahead, the lack of new operators entering the market suggests that its competitive dynamics may remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. As a result, we expect renewed competition to heat up in the market, based on innovative technologies and price.
|Big Three Operators: Financial Outlook Stable|
|Source: BMI, Operator Data. Note: Data for True, DTAC and AIS. All figures in THBmn.|
Latest Updates And Industry Developments
JAS Mobile won the spectrum auction last year but has failed to generate the estimated USD2.1bn required to pay for the 4G spectrum license. DTAC and True have walked away from the auction and AIS is the likely candidate to procure to spectrum initially allocated to JAS Mobile. The failure of JAS to enter the market will ensure that competition amongst the three incumbent players will heat up.
Total mobile subscriptions fell sharply to 83.05mn in Q415 as a result of the compulsory SIM registration drive which lasted till August. This was a 14.5% y-o-y contraction of total mobile subscribers. However, a notable effect was the resulting rise in 3G/4G subscriptions as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions to 96%, from 85% a year earlier, and we forecast total 3G/4G subscriptions to reach 86.6mn by end-2020.
Despite the focus largely on the mobile sector this year, latest fixed broadband subscription data from the regulator has shown a strong continuous growth in subscribers, to 6.4mn in Q415, y-o-y growth of 12.5%. We believe this steady increase will continue in 2016, reaching 6.85mn by the year-end.
The Thailand Telecommunications Report features BMI Research's independent industry forecasts on the future strength of Thailand's ICT market, covering the fixed-line, mobile and internet segments and analyses latest regulatory developments and corporate news, including investment activity, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships. Leading operators and manufacturers are fully profiled, highlighting their quarterly financial performance, capital expenditure plans and latest contracts.
BMI's Thailand Telecommunications Report provides industry professionals and researchers, operators, equipment suppliers and vendors, corporate and financial services analysts and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the telecoms industry in Thailand.
- Benchmark BMI's independent telecoms industry forecasts for Thailand to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Thai telecoms market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in Thailand's telecoms sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Thailand.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts and views, covering the ARPU, fixed-line, mobile (including 3G & 4G), internet and broadband markets.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the wireline and wireless sectors and within the broader political, economic and business environment.
BMI Industry Forecast Scenario
Historic data series (2010-2013) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.
- Fixed-line Telephony – Telephone lines (‘000); telephone lines/100 inhabitants.
- Cellular Telephony – Mobile phone subscribers (‘000); mobile phone subscribers/100 inhabitants; and where available, 3G & 4G subscribers (‘000); 3G & 4G subscribers/100 inhabitants; 3G & 4G subscribers as a percentage of overall mobile market.
- Internet Markets – Internet users (‘000); internet users/100 inhabitants; broadband internet subscribers (‘000); broadband internet subscribers/100 inhabitants.
BMI’s Telecommunications Risk Reward Index
BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (vendors, operators and suppliers) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an Indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.
Market Data Analysis
Detailed market analysis of the mobile, mobile content, fixed-line and internet segments, broken down into:
- Market Data – Analysis of market size, operator shares, dominant trends, competitive landscape and key quarterly data.
- Technology/Service Rollout – Analysis of rollout/adoption of new technology, such as 3G & 4G, WiMAX, IPTV, pay-TV, LTE and valueadded handset services (gaming, music, video, apps etc.).
- Mobile Content – The latest trends in content and services available and being introduced by mobile operators, including a timeline of all the latest major mobile content developments.
Company Database – A comprehensive breakdown of KPIs of the leading mobile operators, including subscriber figures by type (pre-paid and post-paid); 3G & 4G subscriber figures; net additions; market share; ARPU; churn rates; minutes of use; voice and non-voice revenue; financial figures (including operating revenues, net profits and EBITDA).
Details of the regulatory bodies and their responsibilities, as well as a special focus on the rules surrounding competition and interconnection. Also covers the latest updates in the market’s development and regulatory rulings.
Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.
The Telecommunications Reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.
*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.