Total Access Communication (DTAC) held a press conference on Thursday to explain the merger with True and its future direction.
Sigve Brekke, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Telenor Group, said that the company had entered the Thai market around 20 years ago and will stay for 20 more years.
He explained the company’s vision at that time was that every Thai deserves a mobile phone and should be able to afford it.
Brekke said Thailand’s mobile phone penetration is currently at 86 per cent with 98.5 million mobile connections. He called this Telenor’s growth 1.0 in Thailand.
Brekke speculated that Telenor’s growth in the next 20 years will be different.
The telecommunications industry is facing a “perfect storm” with new technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things.
He said that it will no longer be about connecting people together but about connecting machines and physical objects to the internet.
He highlighted new ways consumers, businesses and governments can use these technologies.
He cited four examples based on real cases such as the factory’s 5G private network to control robots via live-feed, the 5G network and AI for port operations in Malaysia, the Norwegian Defence’s piloting private network, and campus mobile for hospitals that give highly robust connectivity to connect with patients at houses or ambulances.
He emphasised that the competitive landscape would be different as competitors will not just be traditional telcos but global platform companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft.
They will be both partners and also competitors. Brekke added that Telenor has signed global partnerships with AWS, Google and Microsoft.
Therefore, the merger between these two telecommunications companies will create a new ‘telecom-tech company’, and not merge one telecom company with another.
It will revolutionise new products and services by creating new technologies and innovations and strengthen competition in the country by combining two weaker companies into one stronger company.
Brekke said, “What Telenor is trying to build in Thailand is not a telco company. We are trying to build a new technology company that will enable Thailand to take advantage of the perfect storm of technologies and deliver new products and services for Thailand.
“We can only do so if we have scale to partner these global companies. A small local telco will not be of interest to these global companies who are after scale.”, Brekke added.
Brekke cited the merger between Telenor Group’s subsidiary Digi and Celcom in Malaysia as similar to the proposed DTAC-True merger
Jørgen Rostrup, executive vice president and head of Telenor Asia, added that the merger will create a strong company that can invest and contribute to future digital and technology development in Thailand.
He mentioned that the merger would help in investing in new technologies and customers would be able to access at an affordable price because the company could not invest by itself as the technology has a high cost.
It is an opportunity for Thailand to be propelled into growth 2.0 and put the country at the forefront, as Thailand has the potential to be the leader in technology, Brekke said.
He said the reason for the merger was that Thailand needs two strong market players, not one strong and two weak.
Rostrup said that the new company will be good for consumers, businesses, startups and stakeholders.
He added that Telenor’s mission is to empower society by upholding highly responsible business standards, supporting digital talent development and creating a workplace that is fit for the future.
They also told the press that the merger process is expected to finish at the end of this year as the regulator — the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NTBC) — is doing its job and the company expected the process will finish in July. After that, the company has to seek approval from shareholders and investors.
They warned that Thailand would lose an opportunity to put the country at the forefront if the merger was blocked.
They assured consumers again that the price would be controlled by the mechanism while NBTC has a role to regulate and control it.
Published : Aug 12, 2022
Published : June 30, 2022
By : THE NATION