Customers’ need for seamless, caring digital services drives dtac transformation

  • Four key changes identified in mobile subscribers for second half of 2020: spending power, digital channel adoption, human migration and data usage.
  • dtac responds with seamless digital journeys and more affordable offers including adjacent services that can lighten household spending.
  • Network strategy to triple data capacity continues in new traffic hotspots as regional data usage growth outpaces Bangkok.
  • dtac CEO says more flexible ways of work needed to keep up with changing lifestyles

July 24, 2020 – dtac is responding to the impact of COVID-19 on Thai society with a three-pronged strategy of seamless digital ecosystems, network capacity improvements nationwide and new ways of work.

According to the World Bank, 8.3 million Thais are at a risk of losing their job or income. To mitigate this trend, dtac is taking responsibility for all its customers with more affordable offers and privileges supporting households’ everyday needs, such as insurance and online shopping. Moreover, dtac is supporting customers’ rapidly increasing data usage by accelerating its rollout of high-capacity massive MIMO and TDD sites, which are compatible with 76 percent of mobile devices used by dtac customers.

THE APP THAT CARES

Presenting the company’s direction for the second half of 2020, Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer of Total Access Communication, PLC, or dtac, said: “Our customers are suffering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, they are using digital channels and internet data more than ever. dtac’s ambition is therefore to never stop delivering more network capacity to all our customers, and also to provide them with offers and services that can lighten their financial stress.”

Mr. Mehrotra showed that the COVID-19 pandemic deeply transformed Thai consumers:

  • Average monthly data consumption per user grew by 44 percent from January to June, following the explosion of work-from-home apps such as Zoom and MS Teams.
  • Redemption of dtac reward privileges related to online shopping grew fivefold during the same period, as shop closures pushed customers towards digital channels.
  • Data usage grew five times faster in the provinces than in Bangkok, and is remaining high despite lockdown measures being eased, a sign many are choosing to stay in their hometown rather than face joblessness in Bangkok.

dtac is therefore responding with improved digital customers journeys blending offline and online, along with cross-industry partnerships. The result is concrete life benefits all within the dtac app: improved digital experiences, more affordable prices and services that can support Thai households at a difficult time.

Digital experiences:

The dtac app is seamlessly blending offline and online customer journeys with an expanded ecosystem that is gamified and offers more varied shopping options with home delivery.

Affordable prices:

In addition to several offers for free data during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, dtac is ensuring even the smallest budgets can remain connected with affordable daily, weekly and monthly packages.

New services:

dtac now regularly launches adjacent services that offer immediate support to customers, such as health insurance or discounted pharmacy vouchers.

HIGH SPEED FOR ALL

On the network front, dtac announced sustained investments in the second half of 2020 to respond to the massive human migration triggered by COVID-19 and the rise of remote work.

  • Nationwide densification of high-speed TDD sites on 2300 MHZ (in partnership with TOT), aiming for over 20,000 sites within 2020 and cementing dtac’s leadership on TDD coverage, which is compatible with most existing devices.
  • Tripling capacity at high-traffic spots nationwide, with additional Massive MIMO sites for an enhanced mobile broadband experience on mobile or fixed wireless (dtac@home).
  • Continued rollout of 5G on 26 GHz in select sites (which began in Q2) and 700 MHz (pending NBTC approval) with industry use cases launching in the Eastern Economic Corridor in Q3 such as smart video surveillance and fixed wireless access.
  • Increased coverage on 700 MHz in key regions (pending NBTC approval).

“TIGHT-LOOSE-TIGHT” AT WORK

Due to the acceleration of change, dtac is also implementing an internal transformation program based on flexible work, automation and a new company culture. All of dtac’s offices now allow flexible work for 95 percent of employees, allowing them to come to the office every other week or only when needed.


“dtac is using a ‘tight-loose-tight’ model where we are tight on the expectations, loose on how employees choose to achieve their goals, and tight on accountability. We believe flexible work will become a growing expectation for employees and that it can empower them to be more productive and happier at work,” said Mr. Mehrotra.

dtac plans to further increase productivity through an automation program that spans IT, network operations and business functions. In the coming weeks, all employees will be invited to compete for a chance to build their own robotic assistant in a “botathon,” with the objective of saving time, reducing human error by up to 100 percent, and reducing time to market.

Mr. Mehrotra added, “To keep providing affordable connectivity in a difficult economic climate, efficiency is a very important part of developing our business. Mobile operators have a huge responsibility to the public right now. And changing our ways of work to be more efficient and deliver better services to customers will be a strong focus for dtac in the second half of 2020.”