Thailand (Bualuang): ICT - Big opportunity in upgraded 5G plans

  • 5G consumer demands rising faster than expected
  • Thailand—the biggest rise in intention to upgrade to 5G smartphone
  • Big opportunity for upgrading from 4G subscription to 5G plans

We foresee big opportunities for Thai mobile operators in upgrading their 4G subscriptions with 5G smartphone to the 5G plans, given that Thai consumers ranked highest in their intension to upgrade to 5G in Ericsson’s recent survey of May 2021. Specifically, 28% of Thai consumers surveyed had 5G-compatible smartphones but still used 4G subscriptions (with only 2% 5G users with 5G phones). In the ICT space, our sectoral picks are ADVANC and INTUCH (BUY) and THCOM (TRADING BUY). Our TRADING BUY calls on TRUE and DTAC stand. 

5G consumer demands rising faster than expected

The Ericsson Consumer and Market Insight report on the topic of “Five Ways to a Better 5G” published in May 2021 was based on surveys conducted in 20 markets where 5G commercial networks are available. The report summed up five key findings on 5G consumer expectations which are as follows: 1) consumers intention to upgrade to 5G has increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) 5G triggers changes in usage behavior and replaces Wi-Fi, 3) consumers perceive the indoor 5G coverage as two times more important than speed and battery life, 4) there was dissatisfaction among 5G early adopters with the limited availability of innovative services and expectations for new 5G applications and 5) consumers are willing to pay 20-30% more for 5G plans bundled with digital services. We believe that the 5G consumer needs are rising faster than previous expectations which could present ARPU uplift opportunities for service providers once the COVID-19 pandemic situation eases in 2H21 or 2022. We will touch upon the first issue here.

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