'Tough' mobile price war to moderate, DTAC chief says
published : 11 Feb 2019 at 07:22
Telenor Asa-backed mobile carrier Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC) said it expects years of fierce price-cutting to moderate as carriers turn from a focus on market share to profit ahead of huge investments to build fifth-generation networks.
The competitive environment “will still be tough, but I hope it will be more rational,” chief executive officer Alexandra Reich said in an interview on Friday. The carrier’s revenue has declined for 14 consecutive quarters amid the fight for market share.
While trying to lure users with lower prices, DTAC and bigger competitor Advanced Info Service Plc have in the past few months acquired spectrum amid rising demand for data transmission. Ahead of the country’s planned sales of spectrum for 5G this year, Mrs Reich said DTAC isn’t ready to commit to participating.
“We don’t believe it makes sense to rush into any auction this year,” Mrs Reich said. “All of us need a clear spectrum plan to understand what is coming.”
DTAC was in a long-running tussle with officials over spectrum rules and in October agreed to pay 38.1 billion baht plus tax for a 15-year 900 megahertz license. In August, DTAC won a single 1,800 megahertz permit for 12.5 billion baht.
When it comes to building a 5G network, Mrs Reich said the company continues to work with Huawei Technologies, the China-based equipment maker the United States and others have accused of espionage, intellectual property theft and sanctions busting.
“We see Huawei as a very strong partner for us,” she said. “Looking into 5G, they are really ahead of the others.”