Thailand’s MVNO Market 2016 – TOT, 2100MHz, 2300MHz

Thailand’s MVNO Market 2016 – TOT

End of 2016 TOT’s three MVNOs: i-Kool, Mojo3G, IEC3G/Buzzme and TOT itself, had a combined market share of just 0.18% representing 163,658 subscribers out of a total market size of 90,921,572.

What’s interesting is that the MVNOs on TOT started Q1 2016 having more than double (although still very low) market share than its host at 0.29% (250,977 subscribers) vs. TOT’s own market share of 0.14% (121,161 subscribers).

Throughout 2016 both the MVNOs and TOT lost shares, and TOT ended 2016 on 0.12% (109,106 subscribers) while the MVNOs took a major dive in Q3, and ended their combined market share on just 0.06% (54,553 subscribers) in 2016.

TOT MVNO MOBILE MARKET SHARE 2016
ส่วนแบ่งการตลาดของบริการโทรศัพท์เคลื่อนที่ ทีโอที 2559

TOT and its MVNOs market share 2016

TOT1Q 20162Q 20163Q 20164Q 2016
MVNO SHARE0.29%0.23%0.08%0.06%
SUBSCRIBERS250,977201,11571,25054,553
TOT SHARE0.14%0.13%0.12%0.12%
SUBSCRIBERS121,161113,673106,875109,105

MVNO’s on TOT in 2016:

  • Mojo 3G (MConzult Asia Co.,Ltd) – Closed
  • i-Kool 3G (Loxley)
  • IEC 3G Buzzme (Enabling Asia)
  • i-mobile 3GX (Moved to CAT Telecom end of 2016)
TOT MVNO MOBILE MARKET SHARE 2015 – 2016
ส่วนแบ่งการตลาดของบริการโทรศัพท์เคลื่อนที่ ทีโอที 2558 – 2559TOT MVNOs Q2015-Q42016
TOT1Q 20152Q 20153Q 20154Q 20151Q 20162Q 20163Q 20164Q 2016
TOTAL MARKET93,463,13788,305,86082,993,30284,796,54586,544,07487,441,51089,062,86290,921,572
MVNO SHARE0.70%0.67%0.67%0.61%0.29%0.23%0.08%0.06%
SUBSCRIBERS654,242591,649556,055506,259250,977201,11571,25054,553
TOT SHARE0.24%0.25%0.26%0.16%0.14%0.13%0.12%0.12%
SUBSCRIBERS224,311220,764215,782132,789121,161113,673106,875109,105

MVNO’s on TOT in 2015:

  • Mojo 3G (MConzult Asia Co.,Ltd)
  • i-Kool 3G (Loxley)
  • IEC 3G Tron (Tron)
  • i-mobile 3GX (i-mobile Plus)
11 YEARS WITH TOT MOBILE – HIGHEST MARKET SHARE JUST 0.77 PERCENT

According to the statistics from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), TOT’s highest market share over the last 11-years (2005-2017) was 0.77% in 2015, representing just 652,933 subscribers out of a total market size of 84.7 million subscribers.

Even more remarkable considering TOT enjoyed monopoly on providing 3G and MVNOs from December 2009 until 2013.

TOT AND MVNO MARKET SHARE 2005 – 2016
ส่วนแบ่งการตลาดของบริการโทรศัพท์เคลื่อนที่ ทีโอที 2548 – 2559
TOT200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
AIS53.87%48.65%45.50%44.16%43.63%43.50%43.20%42.05%43.97%45.63%45.39%44.38%
CAT2.40%1.81%1.85%1.73%2.58%2.28%1.71%2.10%0.78%0.56%1.53%1.78%
DTAC28.49%30.47%29.77%30.21%29.80%30.14%29.98%30.96%30.07%28.85%29.78%27.43%
TRUE14.64%18.89%22.80%23.86%23.96%23.87%24.45%24.67%24.62%24.36%22.53%26.23%
TOT0.60%0.18%0.07%0.03%0.04%0.21%0.65%0.23%0.57%0.61%0.77%0.18%
TOT200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
TOT + MVNO0.65%0.23%0.57%0.61%0.16%0.12%
*THAI MOBILE0.60%0.18%0.07%0.03%
*THAI MOBILE 2G0.02%
*THAI MOBILE 3G0.02%0.21%

*Thai Mobile was a joint venture between CAT Telecom and TOT. In 2007 TOT agreed to pay THB 2.4 billion to take over CAT Telecom’s 42% stake in the struggling joint venture.

Thai Mobile made no headway in its five years of existence, mainly because of infighting between TOT and its state-enterprise partner CAT Telecom. Despite being Thailand’s only UMTS spectrum holder it had only around 70,000 customers in a market with 41 million users at the time. Most of the customers was civil servants who did not even pay for its services.

With the takeover, TOT also had to absorb all of Thai Mobile’s THB 6.7 billion debt, which included THB 1.12 billion in overdue debt to Samart Corp, whom Thai Mobile hired in 2002 to handle customer service and billing, as well as another contract for the distribution of Thai Mobile SIMs to dealers.

SAMART MVNO MOVED FROM TOT TO CAT TELECOM

Samart i-Mobile has two MVNO licenses, one operating as i-Mobile Plus under a partnership with TOT and the other (Open SIM) under a partnership with CAT Telecom. However, at the end of 2016 Samart moved the MVNO i-mobile Plus from TOT to CAT Telecom. At the time i-Mobile Plus had around 10,000 subscribers.

Although losing a MVNO with 10,000 subscribers, when having such a low market share seems like a big loss, it might very well be what TOT needs. The partnership between TOT and Samart has been a long history of questionable decisions, mostly in the favor of Samart.

THE RISE AND FALL OF MVNO I-MOBILE PLUSMVNO i-mobile subscribers on TOT

Note: The subscriber numbers are from i-Mobile themselves, either from annual reports or articles. It is not mentioned if these claimed subscribers are active, and if so what constitutes an active subscriber.

IEC3G – TRON – Buzzme

As one left, another took over. The launch of the MVNO Buzzme in Thailand was interesting. There were no MVNO licenses registered at Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecom Regulator (NBTC) with that name, and no host operator had come forward to claim a new MVNO on their network. Likewise, there was no announcement from the regulator on allocation of IMSI or SIMs to Buzzme.

A look at another Malaysian MVNO in Thailand “IEC3G TRON” solved the mystery.

IEC3G Tron is Buzzme

The change to Buzzme, is the second time the IEC3G license changes its name and ownership, from the original “IEC3G” to “IEC3G-Tron” to “Buzzme”.

Mobile 8 Telco (Thailand) Co., LTD (Buzzme) marks the 4th entry of a Malaysian telco company into the Thai MVNO market, following the MVNO Tune Talk (Celcom), MVNO IEC3G/Tron, and VM Digital (a subsidy of Axiata Group Bhd.)

Buzzme, like its predecessors use TOT as host network, which leaves TOT with three MVNOs: i-Kool, Mojo3G, and IEC3G/Buzzme – at the end of 2016.

TOT AND MVNO’s 2017 – 2300 MHz

TOT recently submitted its new five-year business plan to develop a 2300 MHz wireless broadband service to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) for consideration.

The NBTC asked TOT to come up with a new business plan as its previous business plan lacked viability. The regulator threatened to take the 2300 MHz bandwidth away from TOT and auction it off, if TOT failed to come up with a more viable business plan.

TOTs new plan and ambitious goal, is to acquire 19.2 million mobile subscribers via MVNO partners selling mobile data service on the 2300 MHz network over the next five years.

In order to achieve this, we believe we will see the two mobile operators AIS and DTAC becoming MVNOs on TOT, as well as a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator and Enabler (MVNA/MVNE) providing the correct environment (knowhow and platform) to enable more successful MVNOs – on both the 2100 MHz and the 2300 MHz.

TOT plans to install 1,769 base stations for the 2300 MHz in the first year. Expanding to 8,455 in the second year, 14,994 in the third year, 20,367 in the fourth year and 21,217 in the fifth year.

If the plan is approved by the NBTC, TOT will partially roll out commercial 4G service on the 2300MHz network by October 2017.

TOT AND MVNO’s 2017 – 2100 MHz

In September 2016 TOT and Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), a subsidiary of mobile operator Advanced Info Service (AIS), signed a six-month trial contract where AWN will roam on TOT’s 2100 MHz spectrum.

This six-month trial contract is part of the planned official strategic partnership on TOT’s 2100 MHz.

The official contract between the parties is set to last until 2025. As part of the agreement, AWN will add 11,000 new 2100 MHz base stations to TOT’s existing 5,320 bringing the total to 16.320.

AWN will then purchase 80% on a wholesale/resale basis, of the total bandwidth capacity of the combined TOT/AWN base stations to serve its own subscribers, while TOT will wholesale the remaining 20% capacity to MVNOs.

TOT expects revenue of around THB 15 billion from its mobile-phone service in 2017, of which more than THB 14 billion will be from 2100MHz wholesale to Advanced Wireless Network. The rest will come from TOT’s own 2100 MHz services and its MVNO partners combined.

See also: Thailand’s MVNO Market 2016 – CAT Telecom, Penguin, Myworld3G

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan’s expertise includes the development and execution of growth strategies, market insights, trends and opportunities, new business models and strategies
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