Thailand - Telecommunication Services: A technology driven market (Strategy, Performance and Risk Analysis)
Thailand’s mobile subscription base increased at a CAGR of 1.5% during 2012-16 from 83.9 million in 2012 to 89.1 million in 2016, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% to reach 104.7 million by 2021. Mobile penetration levels increased from 125.6% in 2012 to 132% in 2016, are expected to reach 154% by 2021 due to an increased adoption of mobile phones and enhanced investment by operators in advanced technologies such as VoWiFi and 4G VoLTE.
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Strong growth in mobile data revenue
Mobile data revenue increased at a CAGR of 24.5% during the review period from US$1,649.1 million in 2012 to US$3,957.3 million in 2016, and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 14.6% during 2016-21 to reach US$7,814.7 million. The increase is attributed to the launch of attractive promotional mobile data plans and improvements in the 4G/LTE network infrastructure.
Government initiatives set to boost market growth
Government initiatives are expected to drive the market growth. For instance, the regulator, NBTC, commenced a five-year master plan aimed at promoting new technologies and infrastructure sharing among operators. Moreover, by 2025, there will be 865MHz bandwidth available for mobile phone services, compared with 420MHz in 2016.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology aims to increase broadband penetration by 95% in the country by 2020. To boost its broadband the government is investing US$1.1 billion in order to increase data speeds by more than 400%. NBTC plans to enhance the broadband experience over the next five years by regulating new spectrum bands.
Significant investment in technology
Technologies such as internet of things (IoT) and 4G are expected to gain momentum. AIS is planning to invest US$1.1 billion into the expansion of 4G its network and upgrade its base stations to 4G. CAT signed a contract with SK Telecom for the deployment of LoRa-based IoT networks.