The Thai telecom market is a complex commercial environment, with a mix of state-owned companies and private operators functioning under a wide variety of corporate and regulatory structures and interfaces.
There are three major fixed-line operators one government-owned and two private. Fixed-line services are outnumbered by mobile phone services by a ratio of more than 15 to one. While reasonably good infrastructure has been put in place to support data services, this segment of the market has only recently been experiencing significant growth.
The mobile segment of the market continues its relatively strong growth in a maturing market.
When two new mobile players TA Orange (later to become True move) and Hutchison CAT entered the market to challenge the entrenched duopoly of AIS and DTAC, competition became increasingly vigorous. Two other operators, Thai Mobile and CAT Mobile, also entered the market.
The local mobile sector has seen a sustained period of high competition with heavy price-cutting as the battle for market share raged. There was likely to be a push for consolidation, especially as the market gets closer to saturation. The government's sectoral reform should also have a major impact on the shape and direction of the market.
AIS contracted Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a 100G optical transport network. AIS is rolling out Super Wi-Fi' access points, enabling data transfer at up to 650Mb/s. TOT is adding WiFi hotspot capabilities to 10,000 public telephone booths in greater Bangkok. True Corp announced plans for a transformation of its fixed and wireless broadband networks. AIS launched fibre broadband and an IPTV services utilising the IPTV licence of DTV Service Co. DTAC plans to implement VoLTE, rolling out commercial voice services over its 4G network, as well as voice over WiFi.
Companies covered in this report include:
TOT Corp; CAT Telecom; True Corp; True Move; TT&T; Triple T Broadband; Jasmine International; AIS; DTAC; Hutchison CAT