AIS struggles to grow 4G subscriber base despite Capex growth

AIS, a telecom operator in Thailand, has reported mobile subscriber base of 41.464 million in June 2019 as compared with 41.491 million March 2019 and 40.095 million in June 2018.
AIS revenue break-down Q2 2019
AIS reported revenue of Bt44,688 million in Q2 2019 increasing 5.8 percent year-on-year and 2 percent quarter-on-quarter. Service revenue of AIS was Bt38,235 million increasing 5.3 percent year on year and 3.5 percent quarter-on-quarter. Core service revenue increased 5.8 percent year-on-year and 4.2 percent quarter-on-quarter to Bt35,394 million.

Mobile revenue rose 5.3 percent year-on-year and 4.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to Bt32,911 million. Blended ARPU rose 1.8 percent year-on-year and 4.1 percent quarter-on-quarter.

AIS added 60,400 fixed broadband customers to take the number of fixed broadband user base to 855,400. Fixed broadband revenue increased 26 percent year-on-year and 7.1 percent quarter-on-quarter to Bt1,380 million. Fixed broadband ARPU fell 8.6 percent year-on-year and 1 percent quarter-on-quarter to Bt558.

Currently, 29 percent of fixed broadband users are subscribing to a fixed-mobile-content convergence package (FMC) and having ARPU of around 20 percent higher than the blended ARPU.

AIS said the price competition in mobile industry improved with fixed speed unlimited data pricing discontinued while overall data price gradually uplifted.

AIS focused on the acquisition and retention of quality customers in its post-paid segment in Thailand. The number of post-paid customers increased by 1 million from a year ago as AIS pushed for migration from pre-paid to post-paid.

AIS has spent Bt13,265 million towards Capex in the first half of 2019 against the guidance of Bt20,000-25,000 million. The main focus of AIS was in the improvement of quality of 4G network. The mobile operator said 66 percent of total customer base are on 4G network.

AIS acquired 2x10MHz spectrum in the 700MHz bandwidth spectrum in June 2019 as part of the strategy to strengthen network.