AIS puts profit above market share

26 Apr 2007

(Bangkok Post via NewsEdge) Thai mobile carrier AIS is reducing its emphasis on market share growth in a bid to improve profit margins and sustain business.

AIS achieved its sales target of net new subscribers in the first quarter of this year and intends to maintain its share at around 50% of the mobile market, said Titipong Khiewpaisal, the company's assistant vice president for marketing.

'We now want to focus on profitability and not market share in order to avoid competition that could harm our corporate future and the overall industry in the long run,' he said.

'We are also repositioning our brand image by shifting from the premium market to the mass market under the easy-access concept.'

AIS expects to sign up 2.7 million new customers this year, which would bring its total to 24.7 million.

Second-ranked DTAC, meanwhile, expects to attract four million out of an estimated 10 million new cellular subscribers this year.

'If we want to increase our market share, we need to pursue an aggressive price strategy,' Titipong said. 'Also, we believe that the current 50 % share is a 'balance level' between AIS and rivals for the local mobile industry.'

He said that Thailand's mobile phone market had not been affected by low consumer confidence thanks to affordable handset prices and low-cost tariff plans.

The market has also been fuelled by aggressive competition strategies among operators in underground distribution channels, dealers' commissions and below-the-line marketing approaches.

© 2007 Bangkok Post

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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