Updated: June 2016
In Thailand, Total Access Communication PCL (DTAC) was established in 1989. Telenor became a shareholder of dtac in 2001. Dtac offers mobile voice, roaming and value-added services to its customers through contract and prepaid tariff plans. Dtac was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (the SET) on 22 June 2007. As at 31 March 2016, Telenor holds 42.6% of the total issued shares in dtac. As at 31 March 2016, dtac is the second largest mobile communications provider in Thailand, with an estimated subscription market share of 29.5% or 25.5 million mobile subscriptions. Of these subscriptions, 83% are on prepaid tariff plans. As at 31 March 2016, the mobile penetration (SIM cards) and number of inhabitants in Thailand are approximately 125% and 69 million, respectively.
Dtac operates on 1800 MHz and 850 MHz under a concession agreement with CAT Telecom Public Company Limited (CAT) (formerly the Communication Authority of Thailand). Dtac’s concessions will expire in 2018. Pursuant to this arrangement, CAT has granted dtac the right to build, transfer and operate a mobile network in Thailand. In return, dtac has an obligation to build up a network and then transfer the ownership of the telecom equipment of the network to CAT and pay a concession fee, or revenue share, to CAT. The revenue share payable to CAT was increased from 20% to 25% in September 2006, and was further increased to 30% in September 2011.
A 2.1 GHz spectrum licence was granted by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on 7 December 2012 to dtac’s wholly-owned subsidiary, DTAC TriNet (DTN), for the provision of cellular mobile phone service. The spectrum licence period lasts 15 years and will expire on 6 December 2027. DTN launched the 3G 2.1 GHz services in Q3 2013 and dtac is now offering 3G services on 850 MHz and 4G on 1800 MHz spectrum bands and, through DTN, both 3G and 4G services are offered, on 2.1 GHz spectrum band. 4G services were launched in May 2014 and as of 31 March 2016 the 4G services covers more than 37% of the Thailands population.
As at 31 March 2016, dtac had 12,200 3G 850 MHz, 12,900 3G 2.1GHz, 4,200 4G 1800 MHz and 6,000 4G 2.1GHz base stations covering all 77 provinces across Thailand.
In early 2007, the implementation of interconnection charges reshaped the Thai telecom industry. The operators, after entering into an interconnection agreement, adjusted to the new environment by offering differentiated off- and on-net tariffs. Following implementation of the interconnection agreement, prices remained fairly stable until a 55% reduction was implemented in the third quarter of 2013. As at 31 March 2016, the market- leading mobile operator in Thailand is Advanced Info Service plc (AIS), with an estimated subscription market share of 45.1%. The other mobile operators in Thailand are True Move and Truemove H (following its acquisition of Hutchinson-CAT Wireless Multimedia in 2011), the third largest mobile operator, with a subscriber market share of approximately 23.6%.The other mobile operators in Thailand are small with market shares of less than 1.8% each, including CAT and TOT Public Company Limited (TOT) (formerly The Telephone Organisation of Thailand, the state-owned fixed-line operator).