The advent of full commercial 3G services and the busy roll-out of smartphones are putting intense pressure on mobile operators and triggering a data price war, reports the Bangkok Post. Stiff competition is expected to spur overall mobile handset sales in Thailand to top 20 million units in 2013, up from 14 million this year. Sales of smartphones are set to reach 6 million units this year, while the total smartphone installed base will top 12 million units.
At the four-day Thailand Mobile Expo, Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move are introducing promotional data bundle prices, starting at THB 399 per month. Operators are also offering ten-month instalment payment plans, with AIS offering as much as twenty-month instalments at the four-day event at Queen National Sirikit Convention Centre.
Total Access Communication is offering subsidised smartphones with discounts of up to 50 percent on some models. The price of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 has slidden to THB 9,900 from THB 15,900, while the Nokia Lumia 900 has dropped to THB 11,900 from THB 18,900. Samsung is offering bundled packages with the three mobile operators at THB 22,900. LG also launched its pre-booking Optimus Vu priced at THB 18,900. Tablet prices are being offered at discounts of 30-50 percent, ahead of the arrival of Windows-based tablets later this month.