Thailand-based AIS highlighted growth in mobile revenue and subscribers in Q4 2021 as it focused on expanding its 5G network, ending the year with 76 per cent population coverage across 77 cities and 2.2 million subscribers.
In an earnings release, the operator noted ARPU uplift for 5G users of 10 per cent to 15 per cent, despite Covid-19 (coronavirus) restrictions weakening consumer purchasing power.
It noted competition in the industry “remained elevated” as operators continued offering low-end unlimited data plans in the prepaid and post-paid segments in an attempt to expand market share.
Net profit fell 4.2 per cent year-on-year to THB6.9 billion ($209.2 million) due to unrealised foreign exchange losses and an increase in depreciation and amortisation costs. Total revenue rose 9.3 per cent to THB50.3 billion, driven by 29 per cent growth in SIM and device sales to THB13.6 billion, and a 2 per cent rise in mobile turnover to THB29.6 billion.
Its post-paid user base increased 13 per cent to 11.5 million and prepaid 4.3 per cent to 32.6 million.
Prepaid ARPU dropped 12 per cent to THB136 and post-paid 2.8 per cent to THB473.
Average data consumption was up 38 per cent to 24.9GB a month.
AIS expects mid-single-digit growth of core service revenue in 2022, supported by all business segments.
Capex guidance was raised to THB30 billion to THB35 billion from THB25 billion to THB30 billion in 2021, targeting 85 per cent 5G population coverage by year-end.
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