Thailand’s second largest cellco by subscribers DTAC, part of the Telenor group, has reported that revenues reached THB21.2 billion (USD684 million) in the third quarter of 2012, a year-on-year increase of 8.2%. It attributed the increase to growing value added service (VAS) revenue and handset sales supported by expanding popularity of mobile internet, smartphones and social applications, as data turnover growth compensated for a continuation of pressure on voice revenues. Q3 2012 EBITDA crept up by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, on lower expenses, although fell by 5.1% year-on-year, reaching THB6.7 billion, mainly due to the higher revenue-sharing rate under DTAC’s build-transfer-operate (BTO) concession. Accordingly, net profit for the period amounted to THB2.9 billion, up 1.9% q-o-q but down 6.3% y-o-y. Net additional subscribers of 257,000 were recorded in 3Q12, taking DTAC’s total subscriber base to 23.9 million, of which 10.8% were post-paid. 3G subscribers on its UMTS 850MHz network increased by almost half a million quarter-on-quarter to 1.6 million at the end of September 2012, while data revenue growth continued at the rate of 83.2% year-on-year, as mobile data subscribers grew by 9.7% in 3Q12, from 6.5 million in July to 7.2 million in September (and up 30.5% from 5.5 million in Q3 2011). Smartphone penetration rose from 14.2% in September 2011 to 20.5% one year later.
At the end of Q3 2012 DTAC had rolled out around 3,500 3G 850MHz sites across the Bangkok Metropolitan Area and 42 other provinces, and it maintained its target of deploying 5,000 3G 850MHz sites by the end of the year, despite acquiring a 2100MHz full 3G network operating licence last week, enabling it to launch services in the first half of next year separately from its existing BTO concession with CAT Telecom. On 18 October 2012 DTAC Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTAC, was confirmed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) as one of the three winners of a 15-year 2100MHz operating permit; the NBTC will issue the licence within 90 days of the announcement.
Meanwhile, DTAC reported that its nationwide 2G network swap/upgrade programme is progressing satisfactorily, with 70% of the network having already undergone modernisation.