October 18, 2022 – As the global economy is entering an era of volatility marked by technological advancement, Thailand is transforming itself to compete on the global stage. The core purpose of merging the businesses of True and dtac is to enable quicker and more comprehensive nationwide rollout of digital infrastructure and to harness critical and emerging technologies as an enabler of new possibilities to drive sustainable change and advance human rights by promoting equitable access to digital technology – to support the Government’s Thailand 4.0 strategy.
The parties have been clear from the start – this is a technology-motivated transaction to bring Thailand the communications networks it needs and deserves to compete within ASEAN and beyond. The Amalgamation will facilitate the rollout of 5G and related technology in line with the ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic model. The parties will work towards transforming Thailand into an economy defined by technology and innovation by combining True and dtac’s complimentary skills and resources to unleash growth across the Nation. As part of this journey, the parties urge NBTC to, in accordance with international best practice, allow dtac and True to engage with NBTC on the merger and ensure that the merger safeguards consumers and delivers benefits.
Five aspirations for our new telecom-tech company
1. The telecom-tech company will provide exceptional data service
The amalgamation between dtac and True will create a new telecom-tech company that will be a fierce market competitor. In infrastructure heavy industries such as telecommunication, larger investments and scale are required to compete, having more players in the market does not necessarily make the market more competitive, especially if these players are weaker and unable to evolve their quality offerings to catch up with leaders. The merger will enable a more symmetry competitive dynamic between the new company and market leader, with intense competition on price and service quality to sustain customer attractiveness. Moreover, well-functioning regulatory oversight will ensure that Thailand will continue to have some of the lowest data prices in the world, along with accessible data services for all.
According to a survey conducted by Cable.co.uk regarding worldwide mobile data pricing in 2022, Thailand is ranked as having the lowest data prices in South East Asia despite having one of the highest spectrum costs in the world. In addition, the survey from Cable.co.uk also shows that Thailand’s data download speed is top ranked globally with 54 Mbps.
Thai users, whether rich or poor, living in Bangkok or rural provinces, can experience high-quality mobile data speed to access different applications with highly affordable service fees. And it will still be like this after the Amalgamation, with the new company offering affordable pricing and other various products and services tailored to meet the different needs of each and every customer throughout Thailand.
2. The telecom-tech company will deliver undisputed network experience to all
The new telecom-tech company will be ready to uplift mobile and 5G and 4G high-speed internet experiences with the combined mobile networks of True and dtac. The superior network will transform the experience for 50 million customers in terms of coverage and capacity. A nationwide state-of-the art network will ensure that all Thai people have equal access to digital opportunities.
The merger intends to significantly enhance network capacity and empower quicker and more comprehensive roll-out of 5G nationwide, driving technological development amongst all communities. This rapid roll-out requires a significant investment into network infrastructure combined with a complete ecosystem to fast-forward the country’s digital transformation. A high capacity 5G data network will also support the Thai Government’s action plan for promoting the adoption of 5G Technology in Thailand and lay the foundation for future socio-economic growth in the country. According to a report developed by researchers at the telecom industry organization GSMA, 5G is expected to drive a GDP uplift in Thailand of USD 10 billion (~THB 370 billion) by 2030.
3. The telecom-tech company will deliver services and experiences that go beyond connectivity
The telecom-tech company will have scale and expertise to be an attractive partner for global technology providers and digital giants. This will ensure Thailand early access to the latest services, like virtual reality, augmented reality, and engagement with the Metaverse. It will not just connect people but will also offer new innovative tools to connect to the internet. Big data and AI will become prominent and will require superior 5G internet speeds. Advancement of Thailand’s digital infrastructure and technologies will position Thailand as a regional digital and innovation hub and stimulate inbound investment into Thailand.
The new telecom-tech company will work closely with key industries and the public sector to develop technology advancements to modernize services, increase productivity and contribute to economic growth. Areas of focus are identified by the Thai Government in Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Development Plan and in Thailand’s ambitious Thailand 4.0 strategy, and include building SMART capabilities within Health, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Logistics.
4. The telecom-tech company will support SMEs and large enterprises to benefit from global technology advancements
Together with its partners, the telecom-tech company plans to support a USD 200 million Venture Capital (VC) fund to stimulate local start-ups and strengthen the digital ecosystem. The telecom-tech company will also establish innovation centers that support digital entrepreneurs laying the foundation for future Thai unicorns.
The VC fund aims to invest in promising companies to promote innovative technologies, creating opportunities for stronger Thai startups, and supporting them to become successful at national, regional, and global levels. The new company will be equipped with advanced technology and expertise from Telenor and CP, as well as from other global partners.
The initiatives of the VC fund can create thousands of new job opportunities in the tech industry. For greater economic growth and stronger employment, investing in Thai start-ups can bring about significant benefits for the Thai economy. It is expected to contribute to the development of multiple new patents and promote the Thai startup eco-system. If all goes as planned estimates show that the VC fund can stimulate the Thai economy with up to THB 30 billion (~USD900 million) in GDP growth.
5. The telecom-tech company will uphold the highest standards in responsible business conduct in terms of environmental, social and governance impacts (ESG)
The new company will set the best interest of Thai people and Thai society at the center of everything we do. The new company will use telecom-tech as our tool to create new possibilities for a more equal society and meaningful sustainability partnership. The telecom-tech company will continue creating innovations and internal way of work under ESG practices. This will help us in dealing with change more effectively and creating a sustainable growth. The new company will ensure good governance in line with international best practices for responsible business conduct. In a connected society the new company will protect customer data, respect privacy, and have the highest priority on cybersecurity.
Besides, the telecom-tech company will provide our experts and talents opportunities to grow and develop themselves in the forefront of the digital transformation without limits, under an empowering work culture that respects human rights, inclusivity and diversity.
The telecom-tech company has set these 5 aspirations for the telecom-tech company to be clear on what Thai people can expect from the new company and to express our strong support to the future of Thailand’s digital and technological developments. Our key shareholders, CP Group and Telenor Group are fully behind us with support towards our goal of providing great value for customers and drive opportunities for Thai society to thrive in the digital economy.