How AIS are monetising 5G for future success in the Thai mobile market


On Day 0 5G Beyond Growth Summit of this years’ MWC in Barcelona, we heard from Thai mobile operator AIS on their 5G progress and achieved milestones. The audience heard from Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mark Chong Chin Kok, discussing the AIS highlights and future of AIS’s 5G journey  so far, and why monetisation is so essential for future success

AIS have the largest 5G network in Thailand, covering 90% of the country. Today, AIS have around 9 million 5G subscribers, roughly 20% of the customer base. But building a 5G network isn’t about claiming the number one position, ultimately the operators need to be able to use and monetise it, says Mark. Segmenting the customer base is key way to do this, so different streams of customers can be charged for desires specific to them. In Thailand, professionals and entrepreneurs, the entertainment sector and travellers and migrants were important segments.

But beyond the simple price packages, AIS came up with bandwidth services on demand, and three modes of this. Via the AIS app, customers can choose from “boost mode” which gives a much higher download speed, “live mode”, catering for social media influencers uploading to platforms such as TikTok, or “game mode”, for gamers. These are priced at 49 baht for a minimum of three hours.

The results of AIS’s efforts in the consumer space was an increase in the ARPU of the 5G subscribers by about 10-15%.

One of the biggest challenges for AIS will be to convert current 3G and 4G subscribers into 5G ones. To do this, affordable 5G handsets must become more readily available, priced between $150-200 USD.

Besides for consumers, AIS also developed Enterprise use cases.  AIS introduced a platform called the Paragon Platform. The platform is a product of Singapore based Singtel Group, of which AIS is an associate. It is a multi-cloud orchestration platform, that orchestrates workload across multiple clouds. The platform has live applications that have been deployed in real manufacturing and logistical situations such as in autonomous mining for SCG and in the Siam Toyota factory for ensuring the smooth running of factory operations.

What does the future hold for AIS? In the consumer space, AIS are trying to find more use cases to improve Consumers’ lives. In the enterprise space, AIS’ priority is to bring in an ecosystem of partners to provide 5G solutions to raise company productivity.

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