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Thailand moving ahead fast with connected lifestyle, Ericsson says

Jul 23. 2015
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By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

Thailand ranks third in download speed in Southeast Asia and Oceania after Singapore and Australia, while Line, Facebook and YouTube are the top three applications actively used by smartphone users in this country, according to Ericsson. Thai society is
Thai society is moving towards rich communications with a connected lifestyle. The company’s report shows that 23 per cent of Thai consumers say social media and instant messaging are central to their daily life. Their preferences are shifting towards more video and app-based mobile usage. 
This is consistent with the situation in the region, where social networking, instant messaging and video streaming are among the top five app categories actively used by smartphone users.
Camilla Vautier, president of Ericsson Thailand, said yesterday that mobile operators should ensure that they not only have the capability to deliver these large amounts of data, but also to do so reliably and efficiently.
As of the end of the second quarter, Thailand had 93.6 million mobile subscriptions, and that could reach 98 million by year-end.
“As users discover new ways to consume data, it will be of greater importance for service providers to be able to fulfil that demand. 
“With growth in smartphone subscriptions continuing, operators will need to focus on network performance and capacity expansion, especially in LTE networks, to improve quality of user experience,” she said.
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Early this year Ericsson forecast fourth-generation LTE (long-term evolution) subscriptions reaching 3.6 million this year, 7.1 million next year, 13.3 million in 2017 and 18.4 million in 2018. If the 4G licence auction debuts this year, the forecast will be increased. 
In Southeast Asia and Oceania, voice traffic remains flat, while growth in data will see regional traffic close in on 3 exabytes per month by 2020, when the region could count almost 800 million smartphone subscriptions. 
Ericsson’s analysis of Speedtest.net data from Ookla shows that data-intensive applications, such as video streaming, could easily be delivered by mobile networks in Singapore and Australia, where LTE uptake is being spearheaded. 
LTE subscriptions are expected to continue growing in the region throughout this year as countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines start deploying LTE networks, while others await spectrum auctions.
Three key trends were identified as having a significant impact on the information and communications technology industry in the region – the youth culture, urbanisation and the rise of smartphones. The trends drive the use of ICT and also reap the benefits of the online economy. 
Mobile networks have become the key enabler for online business, with mobile data traffic in Thailand expected grow by nine times in the six years from 2014-20. Spectrum availability is key to addressing traffic growth and business requirements. 
In the region’s developing countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, the smartphone is the primary device for accessing most Internet services. It gives more consumers the chance to get online. 

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