Thailand’s Mobile Market Q3 2020

Thailand’s Mobile Market Information Third Quarter 2020.

Thailand’s state enterprise telco TOT, was the only one among the mobile operators and MVNOs in the Thai market, who grew its subscriber base both year-on-year (YoY) and quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in Q32020.

While AIS and DTAC lost subscribers and TrueMove mostly kept theirs, TOT added 90,000 active SIMs compared to last quarter (QoQ) (218,000 compared to the same period last year) to end Q3 2020 with a total of 500,422 subscribers.

Although a low number, it is interesting for several reasons. One being that TOT has not had this amount of subscribers since its monopoly days with 3G – and that was via its MVNO partners.

Secondly, the growth has occurred during the covid19pandemic, which the other operators use as a reasoning for their loss. But herein, may also be the clue, as to why TOT has managed to gain subscribers.

As part of a public push for the operators to provide some special Covid-19 relief packages earlier this year, TOT introduced a Work-from-Home (WFH), offer with real unlimited data, at 4G speed for THB 66.- ($2.18) per month.

Question is how long TOT itself can hold up. At that price, and given that they actually would have to provide retail minus pricing to their MVNOs, TOT is probably not making any profit on the offer.

THAILAND'S MOBILE MARKET KEY STATISTICS Q3 2020

0

Population

As of 2020

0

Mobile Connections

As of Q3 2020

0

Mobile Penetration

As of Q3 2020

0

HHI

Lacks competition

0

Mobile Service Revenue

($10 Billion) EOY 2019

0

Blended ARPU

($8.22)

0

Prepaid Market Share

As of Q3 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

As of Q3 2020

TRUE
TrueMoveH

(TrueMove H)

0

Mobile Subscribers

As of Q3 2020

DTAC
DTAC

(Total Access Communication)

0

Mobile Subscribers

As of Q3 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.

Chart 1: AIS, TRUE, DTAC Mobile Subscribers Development – Q1 2017 to Q3 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

As of Q3 2020

TOT
TOT

(TOT Public Company Limited)

0

Mobile Connections

As of Q3 2020

The network coverage and wholesale pricing by the two state enterprises are heavily influenced by the three private operators, due “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 SIM at: MY CAT, TOT Mobile as of Q3 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 as of Q3 2020

Penguin SIM
MVNO Penguin SIM

(By Whitespace Co., Ltd.)

0

Active SIMs

As of Q3 2020

iKool 3G
MVNO iKool

(By Loxley Pcl.)

0

Active SIMs

As of Q3 2020

Feels
MVNO Feels

(By Feels Telecom Corporation)

0

Active SIMs

As of Q3 2020

The three active MVNOs in the market as of Q3 2020 are:

  • 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 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.

In mid 2019 the MVNO MyWorld 3G changed its name to MYWorld but has not recorded active SIMs since June 2019.

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.

Chart 3: MVNOs: Penguin SIM, iKool3G, MyWorld3G, Feels – SIMs with active users from Q1 2018- Q3 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 97% market share of the 91.1 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 as of Q3 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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