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MONDAY, June 05, 2023
A Marriage of titans if True and DTAC merge

A Marriage of titans if True and DTAC merge

THURSDAY, April 07, 2022

Mobile phones are a must-have for most Thais and the mobile-phone service is big business in the Kingdom. Thailand’s telecommunications landscape is expected to change drastically if True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac) are allowed to go ahead with their merger Plan.

Before the merger takes place, let’s look at the current players in Thailand’s mobile telecom industry:

Thailand’s mobile network operators 

Advanced Info Service (AIS)
TrueMove H
National Telecom (NT)

AIS: 1985
Dtac: 1989
TrueMove H: 1990
National Telecom: 2021

AIS: INTOUCH Company (40.45%), Singtel (23.32%)
TrueMove H: CP Group (49.99%), China Mobile (18%)
Dtac: Telenor (46.71%), Thai Telco Holdings (18.33%)
NT: Formed via the merger of the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) and Telephone Organisation of Thailand (TOT)

Market share
AIS: 44.31%
TrueMove H: 32.49%
Dtac: 19.73%
NT: 3.41%

A Marriage of titans if True and DTAC merge

AIS: 43,233,700
TrueMove H: 31,697,700
Dtac: 19,560,000
NT: 3,333,752

AIS: 14,103
TrueMove H: 4,193
Dtac: 4,000
NT: 17,000

AIS: 350.17 billion baht
TrueMove H: 523.99 billion baht
Dtac: 174.28 billion baht
NT: 200 billion baht

Cash flow
AIS: 75.56 billion baht
TrueMove H: 125.36 billion baht
Dtac: 24.31 billion baht
NT: 36 billion baht

Revenue (2021)
AIS: 181 billion baht
TrueMove H: 143.7 billion baht
Dtac: 81.3 billion baht
NT: 98.254 billion baht

Profit (2021)
AIS: 26.9 billion baht
TrueMove H: -1.4 billion baht
Dtac: 3.3 billion baht
NT: 3.1 billion baht

Thai mobile phone users, who were happy with having a choice of four operators, became concerned last year when Norwegian telecom giant Telenor announced it was discussing the possibility of a Dtac-True merger with CP Group.

What happens if the merger goes ahead?

The new company will become the largest mobile operator, pushing AIS to second place.
Market share after the merger
TrueMove H + Dtac: 52.22%
AIS: 44.31%
NT 3.41%

Subscribers after merger
TrueMove H + Dtac: 51,257,700
AIS: 43,233,700
NT: 3,333,752

Different scenarios
• The new company will have more funds to invest in the infrastructure, which may result in a better network and wider coverage.
• Some subscribers may switch to AIS based on their experience with either TrueMove H or Dtac.
• Dtac subscribers will be entitled to other services offered by True.
• AIS users may switch to a new company if it offers better services at a more competitive price.
• Users will have fewer choices.
• Only two main players can mean less competition, resulting in fewer promotions, milder price-cutting strategy, and fewer innovations in technology and services.

The face of the new player

It is believed that after the merger, the shareholding ratio of the new company will be:
CP Group: 28.98%
Telenor: 19.64%
Thai Telco Holdings: 7.71%
China Mobile: 10.43%
Other shareholders: 33.24%

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, relevant House of Representatives committee and consumer protection bodies are being urged to investigate the proposed merger and the impact it will have on the country’s telecommunications industry, including potential market dominance.