CAT to go all out for data and mobile markets

4 Jan 2007

Thailand’s CAT Telecom has announced plans to further reduce its reliance on its traditional core international direct dial (IDD) business to focus on meeting growing demand for high speed data, internet and mobile services, reports the Bangkok Post. The state-run firm has also set aside THB900 million (USD25 million) for promotions to increase brand awareness and upgrade service quality to a ‘world-class’ level. The operator expects to increase the proportion of data revenues to 35% in 2007, compared with 25% last year, while at the same time it expects the revenue proportion for IDD to decrease to between 25% and 30%, down from 33% in 2006. CAT is also preparing to relaunch its CDMA-based mobile service, and has set a goal of having 150,000 to 200,000 subscribers by the end of 2007. Although CAT’s mobile joint venture with Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecom, Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, had 737,000 subscribers at the end of September 2006, users of CAT’s own CDMA services currently number only around 10,000 customers in a cellular market of over 37 million. In order to break even on its investment in a new CDMA2000 1x network, CAT predicts that it needs to sign up around one million wireless users by the end of 2009. The telco expects overall net profit to fall sharply to THB1.5 billion in 2007 from THB4 billion in 2006, due largely to a drop in IDD revenues to around THB7 billon, down from THB11.3 billion in 2006, due mainly to rapid changes in technology and increased competition, chiefly from newly licensed IP-based telephony operators. CAT, which owns minority stakes in at least 16 Thai ISPs, plans to roll out new broadband internet access services, under the Hi-Net brand name, over the next two years. Further corporate expansion is planned in other fields including e-commerce, IT applications, content and value added services.

Thailand, CAT Telecom