Thailand’s Mobile Market End of Year 2020

Thailand’s Mobile Market End of Year 2020

2019 vs. 2020 showed an overall total loss in the market of -2.3 million connections across most MNOs and MVNOs (post and prepaid) due to the weak economy, COVID-19 and lack of tourists – except for state enterprise operator TOT which gained (+231,468).

AIS and True gained on postpaid (2.48 million combined) while DTAC lost 321K. All three lost prepaids (4.56 million combined)

AIS:
Postpaid EOY 2019 was 9,107,400 vs 10,192,400 EOY 2020
Prepaid EOY 2019 was 32,906,400 vs. 31,244,400 EOY 2020

True:
Postpaid EOY 2019 was 8,304,587 vs 9,700,000 EOY 2020
Prepaid EOY 2019 was 22,336,970 vs. 20,900,000 EOY 2020

DTAC:
Postpaid EOY 2019 was 6,427,000 vs 6,106,000 EOY 2020
Prepaid EOY 2019 was 14,214,000 vs. 12,750,000 EOY 2020

THAILAND'S MOBILE MARKET KEY STATISTICS END OF YEAR 2020

0

Population

As of 2020

0

Mobile Connections

EOY 2020

0

Mobile Penetration

EOY 2020

0

HHI

Lacks competition

0

Android OS

iOS 19% - KaiOS/others 3%

0

Blended ARPU

($7.66)

0

Prepaid Market Share

EOY 2020

0

Data Usage

per subscriber/month

THE PRIVATE MOBILE OPERATORS

The three private mobile operators in the market:

AIS
AIS

(Advanced Info Service)

0

Mobile Subscribers

EOY 2020

TRUE
TrueMoveH

(TrueMove H)

0

Mobile Subscribers

EOY 2020

DTAC
DTAC

(Total Access Communication)

0

Mobile Subscribers

EOY 2020

Each has a set of subsidiaries, acting as license holders on various spectra, but branding services under their main brand:

  • AIS Group: AIS, AWN, AIN, ABN, DPC,
  • True Corporation: TrueMove , RealMove , TrueMove H Universal Communication (TUC).
  • DTAC Group: DTAC TriNet, DTN,

None of the three are hosting MVNOs on their networks, despite their licenses stating that minimum 10% of capacity must go to MVNOs, as described in the Notification Regarding Mobile Virtual Networks Service B.E. 2556 (2013) and in the updated notification as of July 20, 2020. However DTAC and AIS have both launched their own sub-brand services.

AIS:

  • Mobile Business Revenue 2020: THB 118 billion (THB 126,341bn in 2019)
  • AIS launched 5G on 16 February 2020 and has gained a total of 239,000 5G customers
  • AIS NB-IoT is connecting 935,000+ devices nationwide
  • 76,5% of AIS’ total subscribers are 4G compatible devices. (31.7m)
  • 66,7% of AIS’ total subscribers are data subscribers. (27.6m)

In 2020, AIS launched a sub-brand postpaid service under the “GOMO” brand. The sub-brand is used by its majority shareholder Singtel in other markets.

DTAC:

  • 83% of DTAC’s total subscriber base are 4G compatible devices (15.6m).
  • 64% of DTAC’s total subscribers are 4G users (12m)
  • Smartphone penetration is 87.5%. (16.5m)

TrueMove:

  • TrueMove H’s service revenue grew 3.1% YoY to THB 80.1 billion.
  • Combined voice and non-voice revenues increased 3.8% YoY to THB 75.8 billion
  • Revenues from international roaming and other services decreased 8.6% YoY to THB 4.3 billion.
  • TrueMove H officially launched True5G on August 19, 2020

Chart 1: AIS, TRUE, DTAC Mobile Subscribers Development – Q1 2017 to Q4 2020

For a more detailed view, click on the small colored squares below the chart to include/exclude operators.

THE TWO STATE-OWNED TELECOM OPERATORS

The two state owned telecom operators in Thailand: Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) Telecom, and Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT). The two operators are the only ones having MVNOs on their networks.

CAT
CAT Telecom

(CAT Telecom Public Company Limited)

0

Mobile Connections

EOY 2020

TOT
TOT

(TOT Public Company Limited)

0

Mobile Connections

EOY 2020

The network coverage and wholesale pricing by the two state enterprises are heavily influenced by the three private operators, due to “quasi-MVNO” and network agreements with the three.

The two, was merged on January 7, 2021, into a new state enterprise, named National Telecom Company Limited (NT)

Chart 2: Active SIMs at: MY CAT, TOT Mobile EOY 2020

For a more detailed view, click on the small colored squares below the chart to include/exclude operators.

THE MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOs)

The two state enterprise operators had three active MVNOs on their networks at the end of 2020

Penguin SIM
MVNO Penguin SIM

(By Whitespace Co., Ltd.)

0

Active SIMs

EOY 2020

iKool 3G
MVNO iKool

(By Loxley Pcl.)

0

Active SIMs

EOY 2020

Feels
MVNO Feels

(By Feels Telecom Corporation)

0

Active SIMs

EOY 2020

The three active MVNOs in the market at the end of year 2020 was:

  • Penguin SIM by the company Whitespace (Host CAT Telecom and TOT)
  • ikool3G by the company Loxley. (Host TOT)
  • Feels by the company Feels Telecom (Host TOT)

In addition, NTT Communication (Thailand), is also using a MVNO license (thin MVNO) and setup to provide mobile services to some of its business clients in Thailand.

a2network (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is reselling SIMs from AIS and TRUE, bundled with its own brand “Berrymobile” to Japanese visitors and expats in Thailand.

The MVNO Penguin SIM, which started out as a MVNO on CAT Telecom, entered into an agreement with TOT to be able to provide 4G services.  CAT Telecom is not able to provide MVNOs with 4G services due to contract obligations with TRUE.

The three private operators all have MVNO licenses and are setup up on the two state enterprises as “Quasi MVNOs” sharing networks and capacity. AIS and DTAC with TOT and TrueMove with CAT Telecom

Chart 3: MVNOs: Penguin SIM, iKool3G, Feels – SIMs with active users from Q4 2018- Q4 2020

For a more detailed view, click on the small colored squares below the chart to include/exclude operators.

A HIGHLY CONCENTRATED MARKET - LACKING COMPETITION

The three operators, AIS, TRUE and DTAC – enjoy complete market dominance with a combined 96.39% market share of the 94.32 million total mobile connections in the market. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is 3,390 – showing a highly concentrated market lacking competition.

Chart 4: Mobile Operators market share by subscribers end of year 2020.

For a more detailed view, click on the small colored squares below the chart to include/exclude operators.

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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