DTAC forecasts big provincial growth

23 Feb 2007

Thailand’s second largest mobile operator DTAC has forecast another year of record-high growth in 2007, helped by an aggressive marketing strategy. It posted record net new subscribers in 2006, adding over three million users including 2.2 million pre-paid customers, to boost its total subscriber base to 11.869 million. Yesterday Sigve Brekke, DTAC’s chief executive officer, said: ‘We have high hopes to win four million new customers this year. Three million would be pre-paid and the remaining one million post-paid…Up to 80% of the total demand would come from provincial markets.’ He added that four key factors would stimulate customer uptake: free SIM card offers, on-net tariff promotions, network capacity expansion in remote areas and an increasing number of customers with two SIM cards to make use of two different promotional tariffs. Brekke said that DTAC executives planned to visit China, India and Ukraine this year to study the business models and marketing methods of major operators to learn how to gain better access to users in rural areas of Thailand. DTAC has earmarked around THB12 billion (USD355 million) for network expansion this year, including a project to install 1,200 new base stations, mostly in northern and southern provinces, bringing its total to 9,000. DTAC also plans to spend THB700 million on marketing this year.