True keeps its Wi-Fi targets high

30 Oct 2006

True Corp has fallen way short of its predictions for wireless broadband customer take-up, signing up only 13,000 users so far, but remains confident it can achieve its target of 50,000 Wi-Fi subscribers by the end of the year. Nhiti Nantapatsiri, the Thai telco’s managing director for home and consumer solutions, said the company had earmarked investment of THB50 million (USD1.37 million) for the remaining two months of 2006 to aggressively promote Wi-Fi through bundled packages and promotional tariffs. True currently has 3,400 Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 50 provinces, including Bangkok. The company last week installed its third Wi-Fi outdoor zone in the Sukhumvit-Thong Lo area, covering 240,000 square metres or two square kilometres. It also has outdoor Wi-Fi zones covering one square kilometre each in Siam Square and along Silom Road. True customers can connect via GPRS-enabled mobile phones, notebook computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) at speeds 20 to 100 times faster than normal internet dial-up connections. Phaibul Sirivanich, director for consumer services, said the company planned a further step to promote Wi-Fi use in collaboration with eight companies including Acer, Asus and BenQ. True will offer two months of free wireless broadband access to customers who buy its manufacturing partners’ laptops and PCs. ‘We expect to have at least 10,000 Wi-Fi customers under the campaign,’ he said. Mr Phaibul said the company was also preparing to introduce a series of aggressive tariff promotions, which he was confident would bring in more users. True Corp is Thailand’s broadband market leader, with 368,000 high speed internet subscribers at the end of June 2006, and it expects the figure to reach 600,000 by the end of the year. Mobile division True Move says 1.1 million of its 5.4 million subscribers are GPRS data users.

Thailand, True Corp, True Move