Dtac, the third largest mobile operator in Thailand by subscribers, reported a sharp decline in its Q2 profit as it continued to lose prepaid subscribers and service revenue dipped again.
The company’s net profit dropped 76 per cent year-on-year to THB179 million ($5.37 million), driven in part by higher depreciation and amortisation costs from its network investment. Total revenue decreased 3.5 per cent to THB18.8 billion due to declines in service and handset turnover of 3.8 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
Dtac said it continued to focus on the post paid segment, adding almost 500,000 subs compared with Q2 107, but intense competition in the prepaid market and migration from prepaid to post paid plans resulted in its prepaid base dropping nearly 14 per cent to 15.7 million. Its total subscriber base stood at 21.6 million at end-June, down 8.4 per cent from Q2 2017: 4G users accounted for 41 per cent of the total.
Data from GSMA Intelligence shows dtac’s market share dropped 2 percentage points from Q2 2017 to below 24 per cent at end-June.
Prepaid ARPU dipped marginally to THB588 per month, while post paid ARPU fell 3.3 per cent to THB152.
The number of 4G and 3G base stations on the 2.1GHz band rose 19 per cent year-on-year to 42,700: it added 608 4G base stations on the 2.3GHz band.
Dtac’s full year outlook remained unchanged, with service revenue forecast at about the same level as the previous year. Capex is expected to be in the THB15 billion to THB18 billion range as it plans to add 4G and 3G base stations on the 2.1GHz band and install at least 7,000 sites on the 2.3GHz network this year.
Telenor-owned dtac on Monday (16 July) confirmed it collected applications for Thailand’s pending 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum auctions. However, it raised concerns about the costs and operational risks regarding new clauses stating the winning bidder of the 900MHz spectrum would be solely responsible for any and all interference to upcoming railway projects, both on 850MHz and 900MHz.
In a statement, dtac reiterated its “intention to make a thorough assessment of the final auction guidelines before concluding on auction participation”.