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 Tuesday, June 02, 2009

AIS is the market leader in Thailand, where penetration looks to have finished Q1 09 at around 95%. The rise in penetration has been accompanied by a decline in growth, with annual growth rates falling in each quarter since Q2 07. Although the full Q1 09 set of results for Thailand is not yet complete, it seems almost certain to be the slowest quarter since Q3 05, when there were net additions of just 0.41m. Both True Move and DTAC saw their lowest gains since that same quarter, with uplifts of 0.25m and 0.26m respectively. AIS only just managed to top these figures with a gain of 0.27m, its lowest result since Q1 06 and the second lowest this century.

Although this is a disappointing result for AIS, the fact that growth has slowed so dramatically for all the major operators in Thailand means that it is unlikely to lose its lead in the foreseeable future, barring any extraordinary developments: at the end of Q1 09, it was 8.6m customers ahead of DTAC with a total of 27.58m. Annual growth stood at 9.9%, down from 19.0% for the prior twelve month period. In real terms, annual net additions fell from just below 4m to 2.49m.

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Source: Cellular News.