Thailand - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Thailand is driven by a strong digital technology culture
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. CAT Telecom is set to merge with its sister fixed line operator TOT to create a stronger business.
Penetration in the fixed line market in Thailand has been declining at a significant and increasing rate over the past five years. A major reason for this is due to the dominance of the mobile segment and the growth of mobile broadband segment. The market is predicted to further decline over the next five years to 2023 as both mobile and mobile broadband penetration continue to increase.
Digital infrastructure in Thailand can potentially attract investment in IoT which will offer opportunity for IoT solutions to development in various industries. Thailand 4.0 vision has been developed from a realization that digital technologies can drive socio-economic development and economic growth of countries.
The Thai government lifted its target of creating three smart cities by 2018 to seven by including industrial centres on the eastern seaboard. The Eastern Economic Corridor Development Project will turn the eastern part of Thailand into a special economic zone. As a part of its Thailand 4.0 initiative, the country had set itself the target of creating at least 100 smart cities within its borders over the next two decades.
The Thailand market has witnessed reasonably strong growth in the fixed broadband market over the past few years from a relatively small base. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) continues to grow strongly in Thailand’s major metropolitan areas. However fixed broadband penetration remains relatively low compared to other developed Asian telco markets due to a limited number of fixed lines and the dominance of the mobile platform. Over the next five years to 2023 strong but gradually declining growth is predicted as the major providers continue to rollout their fibre networks.
Thailand is quickly becoming one of the biggest e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. By 2022, sales in the market are expected to reach around $6 billion.
During 2018 competition in fixed broadband has been heightened by the incumbents. Sale of convergence packages were adopting well as integrated operators focused on offering higher value bundled products rather than standalone products.
Thailand’s mobile market is highly developed and has experienced strong growth over the last six years. However, growth has become much slower over the past few years due to the heightened level of maturity. Very slow growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023 with annual growth rates further easing. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to a saturated mobile subscriber market and strong local competition.
DTAC has partnered with Nokia to deploy what it claims is the country’s first commercial TD-LTE network. TOT and DTAC’s subsidiary TriNet have also entered the TD-LTE space, signing an agreement to launch a 4G TD-LTE network in the 2300MHz band. The Thailand market is now moving towards 5G. True Corp enlisted Ericsson to the country’s first 5G trial.
MNVOs in Thailand are generally struggling to compete with bigger rivals amid highly intense competition.
Thailand has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past six years driven by strong growth of 4G mobile subscribers. Slowing growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023 as the market reaches a heightened state of maturity. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out their 4G and 5G networks and improving tariffs due to strong competition.
A digital roadmap to achieve its “Thailand 4.0” vision has been developed.
The Eastern Economic Corridor Development Project will turn the eastern part of Thailand into a special economic zone.
The fixed line market remains underdeveloped and penetration has been declining over the past five years.
Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) continues to grow strongly in major metropolitan areas.
Over the next five years to 2023 slower and declining fixed broadband growth is predicted.
Thailand is quickly becoming one of the biggest e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia.
MNVOs in Thailand are generally struggling to compete with bigger rivals.
The Thailand market is now moving towards 5G.
Thailand has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past six years.
Key companies mentioned in this report:
TOT Corp; CAT Telecom; True Corp; True Move; TT&T; AIS; DTAC; Thaicom, Triple T Broadband; AIS; DTAC; Cable Thai (CTH).