CAT’s 3G wholesale business the mainstay of revenue growth strategy

8 Mar 2012

Thai state-run CAT Telecom is targeting a rise in total revenues from approximately THB51.3 billion (USD1.7 billion) earned in 2011, to more than THB61 billion in full-year 2012, based on the growth of its wholesale 3G mobile business, reports local newspaper The Nation. CAT’s senior executive vice president Sompol Chantaraprasert said that the state agency has targeted total revenues of more than THB76.5 billion in 2013 based on projected growth of its 3G mobile marketing partnership with private sector operator True Move, which launched full commercial HSPA-based services in August 2011. In 2012 CAT has forecast that it will earn revenue from the 3G business of THB21.5 billion, rising to THB36.3 billion in 2013, THB37.4 billion in 2014, THB38.4 billion in 2015 and more than THB39 billion in 2016. True offers end-user services over the HSPA network under the True Move H brand while CAT has also launched its own retail HSPA service over the same network under the ‘My’ brand, but this is expected to remain a relatively small concern compared to True’s 3G operation, which is expected to sign up four million subscribers this year.

Under changes set in legislation, from the beginning of 2014 onwards CAT and its sister telco TOT will transfer all annual revenue from build-transfer-operate (BTO) concessions to the state via the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). CAT expects concession revenue of around THB26 billion in 2011, declining to a forecast THB24 billion in 2013.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that, of CAT’s other revenues, its own fixed broadband operations earned it around THB7 billion in revenues in 2010, which it forecast would rise to THB8 billion in full-year 2011. CAT’s international direct dial (IDD) business dwindled to sales of THB5 billion in 2010 – or around 10% of its overall revenues, down from 33% back in 2006 – and it estimated a further drop in IDD revenues to THB4.8 billion in full-year 2011, as it concentrated on high speed data, internet and mobile services, and competitors expanded their own international services. CAT claimed an approximately 50% share of Thailand’s international call revenues in 2010, down from 60% two years earlier. In September 2011 CAT announced plans to launch mobile VoIP by mid-2012, in an attempt to help restore IDD revenues to an annual target of THB5 billion; 70% of these revenues are expected to come from enterprise customers.

Thailand, CAT Telecom