NBTC Secretary-General Reveals Thailand’s Prepaid Service Rates in Q2 2015 Ranks the Third Cheapest in ASEAN Region While Brunei Ranks the First with the Lowest Prepaid Price at 25 Satang/Mbps

Mr. Takorn Tantasith, Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC Secretary-General), revealed the survey results of NBTC on prepaid service rates of the first four large service providers in each ASEAN member country during Q2 2015 that Thailand is ranked the third country with the cheapest prepaid service rates compared to monthly income of the population following Brunei and Singapore. The average prepaid service rates in Thailand based on the promotion that can be easily accessed is 55 Satang/minute while a neighboring country like Cambodia provides the same service at the price of 2.32 Baht/minute.   

Based on the ranking of prepaid mobile service rates based on the promotion that can be easily accessed of 10 ASEAN member countries in comparison to monthly income of overall population, it can be noticed that low-income countries tend to have more expensive service rates when compared to high-income countries. Singapore has the lowest service rates at only 0.0021% of monthly income of the overall population, followed by Brunei at 0.0022%, Thailand at 0.0036%, Malaysia at 0.0043%, Indonesia at 0.0227%, Myanmar at 0.0328%, Vietnam at 0.0364%, Philippines at 0.0559%, Laos at 0.0656% and lastly Cambodia with the highest service rates at 0.0823% of monthly income.

As for mobile internet service rates, it can be found that Brunei provides the cheapest mobile internet service at only 0.0002% of monthly income of the overall population, followed by Singapore at 0.0003%, Indonesia at 0.0006%, Thailand at 0.0009%, Malaysia at 0.0012%, Laos at 0.0013%, Vietnam at 0.0021%, Philippines at 0.0025%, Cambodia at 0.0027% and lastly Myanmar with the most expensive service rates at 0.0034%.

Mr. Takorn also added that the population of high-income countries such as Singapore has monthly income 4 times higher than the average monthly income of the overall ASEAN population whereas Brunei is 3 times higher. Both countries showed lowest service rates both in terms of calling fees and internet fees. Low-income countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, on the other hand, showed expensive service rates both in terms of calling fees and internet fees. However, it can be found that Myanmar has implemented discount marketing scheme which allows lower service rates when compared to the monthly income of its population.    

If we view these service rates, whether calling fees or internet fees, as a financial burden, one way to reduce such burden is to drive economic development by focusing on raising higher income among the overall population while promoting higher competition level within mobile service market. Today, both voice and data service rates within mobile phone industry already started to decline due to the increasing number of users which allows cost per unit to be reduced. However, these service rates will drop more quickly if the overall population has higher income.   

 

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