Taiwan mobile non-voice revenues make already more than 25% of total mobile revenues — Mobile carriers concentrate efforts to increase data usage — Mobile apps widely available for all mobile platforms — Promotions and offers also targeting prepaid segment — To 2015, fixed broadband base expected to increase at an average of 9% a year.
Manila, Philippines — As Thai telecom carriers are about to commercialise 3G services on 2.1GHz spectrum, mobile services usage patterns in Thailand confirm 3G-readiness and all mobile carriers are planning to launch 3G services within the first half of the current year. For one, mobile non-voice services revenues already comprise more than 25% of mobile service revenues generated in 2010 and they are expected to increase significantly while total mobile service revenues growing at an annual average rate (CAAGR) of only 2% in the next four years.
To increase data usage, the operators are focusing on bundling data services with smart phones such as Blackberry, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy as well as with USB data cards. The operators also offer more affordable smart phones with increased functionalities. While there are a number of available business applications including e-mail, Blackberry services as well as news applications such as Blue — carrier AIS’ Blue(TM) providing with free, streaming, real-time data from global financial markets — a large number of them are geared towards personal rather than business use — for instance, chat and social networking applications. The Taiwanese mobile carriers also push a number of customised personal applications as contained, for instance, in the True App Center, available with True Move, which contains more than 120 custom mobile apps — some of which are exclusive to True Move subscribers — for iPhone, Android, Blackberry.
With prepaid subscribers dominating the Thai mobile base, the operators launched lower-cost services targeting expressively this segment. As a result of off-peak promotions, the mobile carriers succeeded in improving significantly minutes of use (MOU) and helping stabilise mobile voice revenues. To push also non-voice services, the operators tailored data service offerings to fit the prepaid mass market. For instance, AIS launched packages for mobile Internet surfing via GPRS/EDGE and started offering Blackberry as prepaid.
As of the fixed broadband segment, household penetration lays at around 16%. The segment, however, showed a relatively significant growth in 2010 along with the decrease in monthly fees and the cost of modems, increased popularity of online content and the availability of higher bandwidths. True Online, Thailand’s largest broadband access service provider by subscribers and revenues, had 788 000 broadband subscribers (mostly DSL, 3Q10), an increase of 18% YoY. From 2011 to 2015, Thailand’s fixed broadband subscriber base is expected to increase at 9% (CAAGR).
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