Dtac, the third largest mobile operator in Thailand, announced it will participate in the country’s delayed 900MHz auction on the same day it reported a net loss in Q3 and a decline in service revenue.
The Telenor-owned operator picked up bidding documents for the auction in early October but said it would conduct a feasibility assessment before committing. The country’s two largest mobile operators – AIS and True Move – last week announced plans to skip the 900MHz spectrum sale on 28 October, making dtac, which submitted the required THB1.9 billion ($58.2 million) bid guarantee, the only participant.
Dtac posted a net loss of THB921 million in the quarter due to a one-time amortisation charge from settling a dispute related to the ownership of towers with CAT Telecom. It recorded a net profit of THB601 million in Q3 2017.
Total revenue fell 4.5 per cent year-on-year to THB18 billion in the quarter, with service turnover down 3.3 per cent to THB16.2 billion. Handset sales dropped 28 per cent to THB1.33 billion.
Its subscriber base continued to decrease, down 7.8 per cent year-on-year to 21.3 million at end-September. Prepaid subs declined by nearly 2 million to 15.3 million from a year ago as a result of intense competition and prepaid-to-post paid campaigns. Post paid subscribers grew by about 600,000 to 5.8 million.
Both prepaid and post paid ARPU dropped – by 3.9 per cent to THB147 and 0.6 per cent to THB561 respectively.
Based on uncertainty due to the ending of its 2G concession with CAT Telecom in September and the migration of customers to other networks, it revised its guidance. Service revenue excluding IC is expected to decline by a low single-digit rate, in line with a 1.7 per cent year-on-year decline in the first nine months of the year. EBITDA margin guidance was revised up to 36 per cent-38 per cent, while capex guidance was increased to THB18 billion-THB20 billion to accelerate its 2.3GHz network expansion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back