In the first quarter, 66 million mobile-phone numbers were in use, of which 88 per cent were prepaid and 10.7 per cent post-paid. Mobile-phone calls in last years fourth quarter were 252 minutes long on average.
Post-paid calls were 484 minutes long and prepaid calls 226 minutes, according to a recent report from the National Telecommunications Commission. The monthly average revenue per user ARPU, excluding interconnection revenue, in the fourth quarter was Bt203. The post-paid ARPU was Bt579 and prepaid ARPU Bt163.The average fourth-quarter airtime rate was Bt1.20 per minute. The average post-paid rate was Bt1.30 and prepaid rate Bt1.15.
The combined voice revenue of the top three cellular players last year was Bt118.43 billion, and their data revenue was Bt24.44 billion.Of the total data revenue Advanced Info Service contributed Bt13.74 billion, Total Access Communication Bt7.56 billion and True Move Bt3.13 billionLast year, AIS commanded a 43.5-per-cent share of the mobile-phone user market, while DTAC controlled 29.8 per cent, True Move 23.0 per cent, CAT Telecom and its joint venture Hutchison-Wireless Multimedia a combined 2.6 per cent, and TOT 0.1 per cent.
Mobile handset sales accounted for around 14 % of Thai consumer electronics spending in 2009. Thai market handset sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of around 3% to 10.4mn units in 2014, as mobile subscriber penetration reaches 152%. Sales will be dominated by lower-priced mass market phones. The launch of 3G services remains delayed due to bureaucracy and political wrangling.
The initial forecast for last year’s smartphone sales was only 400,000 units, said Mr Nattawat. The surge in demand was fuelled by many new models from Samsung and LG and by the marketing campaign of mobile operator DTAC, the latest authorised distributor for BlackBerry phones.
Mobile phones and iPhone 3G are available since nearly a year in Thailand, but the implementation of the third generation network, has been considerably delayed. Bureaucracy and pressure from the public operator TOT have managed to block the allocation of frequencies, once again postponed to spring 2010.
The mobile business is a highly political issue in Thailand because it is the mobile phone concession awarded to AIS (subsidiary of the holding company Shin Corp), who allowed Thaksin to make a fortune in a record time and subsequently become the most popular politician of the kingdom’s history. It is also the resale of Shin Corp to Singapore’s Temasek fund that was largely responsible for his downfall.