Thailand’s mobile industry posted strong growth in the first half of the year as consumers increased their data usage, pricing competition declined and the overall economy grew at the fastest rate in four years.
The country’s GDP increased 3.7 per cent year-on-year in Q2 2017 after posting 3.3 per cent annual growth in Q1, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board.
Service revenue for the three major mobile players – AIS, True Move and dtac – increased 8 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year, Bangkok Post reported. Non-voice revenue accounted for 68 per cent of their service revenue in Q2.
An analyst at CIMB Thai told Bangkok Post operators have cut back on their cut-throat marketing promotions, which helped profitability: “It seems the telecoms business is on the up-and-up after reaching bottom last year.”
According to the Bangkok Post report, AIS’s Q2 data revenue increased 21 per cent year-on-year to THB18.7 billion ($562 million), dtac’s grew 27 per cent to THB11 billion, and True’s rose 25 per cent to THB10.4 billion. Data revenue represented 63 per cent of AIS’s total revenue, 74 per cent for dtac and 66 per cent at True.
AIS and dtac experienced year-on-year declines in voice revenue of 14 per cent and 35 per cent respectively during Q2, with True posting a 2.6 per cent increase.
All three operators reported increases in service revenue in Q1. True led with 17 per cent growth, followed by AIS (6.6 per cent) and dtac (2.3 per cent), Bangkok Post said.
True, long the third ranked mobile player in Thailand, edged ahead of dtac in the opening quarter of 2017, boosting its market share to 26.5 per cent – marginally ahead of its Telenor-owned rival’s 26.2 per cent share. True maintained a slight lead on dtac in Q2, according to the latest data from GSMA Intelligence.