Its MVNO season in Thailand

Two MVNOs and one MVNO club launched in Thailand

Within a week, Thailand has witnessed the establishment of one MVNO club, and two full commercial MVNO launches with the local MVNOs Penguin and MyWorld3G.

Today saw the launch of the “Penguin SIM” service from the new Thai MVNO “Whitespace”. The Enhanced Service Provider MVNO consist of former DTAC employees who (ironically), chose the state telecom operator CAT TELECOM over their former employer as their MVNO Host Operator.

Whitespace, is one of the few MVNOs in Thailand with realistic goals, having set a target of achieving 300,000 subscribers in year one. Among the segments the MVNO is targeting is first time smart phone users who want to use mobile Internet.

MVNO MyWorld3G aka Data CDMA Communication

Just two days earlier, the MVNO Data CDMA Communication, said it was ready to go from soft launch to full commercial launch with its service “MyWorld3G”.

Data CDMA Communication, said it would invest THB 200 million (U$5.6 million) this year to achieve its ambitious target, of at least a million subscribers this year. The company said it currently has around 4,000 subscribers and expect to reach breakeven with 100,000 subscribers.

Like Whitespace, Data CDMA Communication is also riding on the 850 MHz network of CAT Telecom.

Nipon Chucherd, President of Data CDMA Communication told “The Nation” newspaper, that Myworld3G would tap niche markets, including Thais travelling overseas and the operators of truck fleets using the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Data CDMA Communication also offers an IPTV services. The service enables users to watch TV channels, including Myanmar and Cambodian TV programs, on their mobile devices for THB 20 per month.

MVNO club in Thailand

Last week saw the launch of a MVNO Club in Thailand, consisting of four MVNOs: 168, Data CDMA Communication, i-mobile Plus and WhiteSpace Co. All four MVNOs use, or are about to use CAT Telecom’s 3G service on the 850 MHz spectrum.

The club is a step in the right direction to better the opportunity for MVNO in Thailand. If done right, it can provide the MVNOs with more trustworthiness and power when negotiating with the operators.

First topic in the club should be how to deal with the capacity limit from its host operator. CAT Telecom can only provide capacity to max. 4 million subscribers to its MVNOs (combined). The rest of the network is occupied by CAT’s own retail service “MY” and the mobile operator “TrueMove H” who manages the network on CAT’s behalf.

Including the MVNOs mentioned, there are currently 32 companies in Thailand with a MVNO license.

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan is a MVNA/MVNE/MVNO specialist with hands-on experience from more than 60 projects in both competitive and greenfield markets. His expertise includes business case development, execution, launch and growth strategies. Advisor and consultant to mobile network operators, MVNA, MVNE, MVNO, National Regulatory Authorities, Government Agencies, Broadcast Companies, TMT Industry Associations, Innovation and Investment Banks.

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