AIS sets goal of 10m postpaid

AIS sets goal of 10m postpaid

Mr Pongsakorn, left, and Ms Suchaya promote a collaboration between AIS and Shopee to give away customised SIM cards.
Mr Pongsakorn, left, and Ms Suchaya promote a collaboration between AIS and Shopee to give away customised SIM cards.

Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country's biggest mobile operator by subscribers, plans to have 10 million postpaid users by the end of this year, partly through a partnership with e-commerce giant Shopee, as well as more emphasis on millennials and senior customers.

Pongsakorn Corvanich, head of product marketing and the postpaid unit of AIS, said postpaid subscribers rose by 235,000 to 9.7 million in the third quarter. By year-end, the number is expected to surpass 10 million, he said.

By the end of 2020, the company expects to have a total of 42 million users, up from 40.9 million in the third quarter. Postpaid subscribers are expected to help AIS achieve this goal, said Mr Pongsakorn.

He said in the second quarter, AIS's revenue from postpaid services matched that of prepaid for the first time. This was driven by customers preferring bundled mobile packages with smartphones that have subsidised prices, said Mr Pongsakorn.

AIS will focus more on user segmentation, particularly online merchants, first-time workers, millennials and senior users, who appear to consume more data, he said.

AIS plans to give away customised SIM packages to Shopee merchants, numbering between 800,000 and 1 million in Thailand.

They can choose packages -- either 399 baht or 599 baht -- and receive the monthly internet data of 20GB and 40GB, respectively, four times more data than normal packages. They also receive six months of free ad credits worth 500 baht a month for the 599-baht package, and 300 baht per month for the 399-baht package.

Registration for the SIM cards can be done at from Nov 9 to Jan 9, 2021.

AIS recorded higher online sales driven by the pandemic when shops were closed, said Mr Pongsakorn.

In 2020, the company's online revenue is expected to contribute 10-20% of total earnings, perhaps reaching 50% by next year, he said.

Suchaya Paleewong, marketing manager of Shopee Thailand, said the pandemic has increased sellers on the platform by 60% year-on-year as merchants realised the importance of online channels for sales, with more shoppers online.

Price comparison website Priceza reported the e-commerce industry in Thailand reached 163 billion baht in 2019. The segment is expected to surge 35% in value to 220 billion baht this year, driven by the ongoing pandemic, which has pushed more people online.

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