Advanced Info Service (AIS) extended its lead in Thailand’s mobile market in the fourth quarter of 2009 by adding a net 490,600 new subscribers, higher than closest rival DTAC’s 386,000 net quarterly additions.
AIS’ rate of take-up also increased from its third-quarter increase of 380,300, and by the end of December 2009 it had a total of 28.8 million subscribers, compared to DTAC’s 19.7 million. AIS also booked a fourth quarter net profit of THB4.1 billion (USD123.6 million), a near-tenfold increase on the THB420 million it posted in the same period of 2008, although its business in the year-ago quarter was negatively affected by political protests which closed Bangkok's international airports and led to reduced network traffic.
The year-on-year rise in 4Q09 net income followed four consecutive quarters of annualised decreases in AIS’ bottom-line. For the full year 2009, the cellco recorded a net profit of THB17.1 billion, up by 4% compared to the previous year. The Shin Corp subsidiary announced that it will cut its investment budget for 2010 to a record low of THB6.2 billion, largely because of the ongoing delays to Thailand’s 2100MHz 3G mobile licensing.