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Dtac sole bidder in 900MHz auction despite Q3 losses

Dtac sole bidder in 900MHz auction despite Q3 losses

Thailand’s number three dtac has confirmed that it will bid for 900MHz spectrum in the upcoming auctions, making it the only operator to do so.

The first and second placed operators AIS and True Move bowed out of the delayed auction, now scheduled for 28th October. Dtac obtained bidding documents earlier this month and has now paid the THB1.9 billion ($58.2 million) guarantee after establishing that it was feasible to lodge a bid.

The Telenor-owned operator reported a net loss of THB921 million in Q3, largely due to an amortisation fee paid to resolve a dispute over tower ownership with CAT Telecom. In the same period last year, the operator turned a net profit of THB601 million.

Dtac also saw a year-on-year drop in revenue for the quarter, with total revenue falling to THB18 billion and service revenue slipping 3.3% to THB16.2 billion. Device takings dropped a full 28% to THB1.33 billion.

The operator has also been losing subscribers over the past quarter, with its base depleting by 7.8% to 21.3 million. Fierce competition has caused its prepaid subscriber numbers to dwindle by 2 million over the past year to 15.3 million, although campaigns encouraging customers to switch from pre- to post-paid have delivered a boost to its post-paid numbers, which stand at 5.8 million. However, ARPU fell by 3.9% for prepaid to THB147 and 0.6% for post-paid to THB561.

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