State of Mobile Networks: Thailand (November 2018)

Changes are happening in Thailand's mobile market. Our latest look at Thailand reveals a new winner, AIS, in 4G availability. Meanwhile, new LTE upgrades have allowed DTAC to climb up our speed rankings in the country. Analyzing more than 857 million measurements, we examined the 3G and 4G results of Thailand's three main operators to see how they stacked up. (Click here for a Thai translation of this report.)

Report Facts

857,341,028
Measurements
109,807
Test Devices
2018-07-01 - 2018-09-28
Sample Period
Thailand
Report Location

Highlights

AIS jumps into the lead in 4G availability

AIS now has the distinction of having the highest 4G availability in our results. Our users were able to find a 4G signal on AIS's network 90% of the time. With 4G availability scores over 83%, both DTAC and TrueMove also had impressive levels of 4G reach.

TrueMove dominates our awards chart

TrueMove may have lost its 4G availability crown to AIS, but it either won or shared our awards in every other one of our metrics. We named TrueMove the uncontested leader in our 4G download speed, 4G upload speed, overall download speed and 4G latency categories. It also tied with DTAC for our 3G download award and with AIS for our 3G latency award.

DTAC makes gains in 4G download speed

While 4G download and overall download speeds for both AIS and TrueMove dropped in our measurements, DTAC saw increases in our download metrics, moving it from last to second place in both categories. DTAC's gain wasn't enough to overtake TrueMove nationally, but on the regional level it was a different story.

AIS and DTAC get more competitive regionally

Six months ago, our regional awards chart was practically painted TrueMove red as the operator won nearly every category in every region. In our most recent tests, though, we see a lot more AIS green and DTAC blue, especially in our 4G availability and 3G and 4G download categories.

Awards Table

Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G

AIS

medal medal

DTAC

medal

TrueMove

medal medal medal medal medal medal

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Performance by Metric

Download Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: 3G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: Overall

This metric shows the average download speed experienced by OpenSignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.

Upload Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Latency: 4G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Latency: 3G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Availability: 4G

This metric shows the proportion of time OpenSignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.

Regional Performance

This chart shows the regional winners in each category OpenSignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.

Legend: AIS TrueMove DTAC
Region Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G
Central
East
North
North East
South

Some graph here

graph here

legend goes here

Analysis

Thailand has always been a 4G leader in Southeast Asia. It rolled out its LTE networks early, and its three major operators have had more than five years to establish their 4G services and footprints. But just because Thailand's 4G market is mature, it doesn't mean the status quo can't change. In our latest test period we see several new developments in Thailand's mobile broadband sphere. We have a new leader in 4G availability in our metrics, and we see DTAC asserting itself in our speed results.

Analyzing more than 857 million measurements collected from 109,807 devices between July 1 and Sept. 28, 2018, OpenSignal compared the 3G and 4G services of Thailand's three main operators: AIS, Telenor's DTAC and True Corporation's TrueMove H. In addition to our national analysis, we also took a look at our core metrics for the three operators in Thailand's five regions.

AIS tops our 4G availability rankings

Our latest test period reveals a new winner in our 4G availability metric as AIS took the award with an impressive score of 90%. That means our 4G users were able to find an AIS LTE signal in nine out of 10 attempts. It's still a very competitive race for 4G availability in Thailand, though, as TrueMove came in a close second with a result of 86.2% and DTAC third with a score of 83.5%. Thailand has one of the highest levels of 4G reach not only for the region, but also the world. Last year, it ranked in the global top 20 in 4G availability in our State of LTE report, and given recent improvements it will likely climb higher up that list in our next report.

In speed, TrueMove continued to dominate our metrics. It won our 4G download speed award with an average connection of 9.2 Mbps, our overall download speed award with a score of 7.3 Mbps and our 4G upload speed award with a result of 7.5 Mbps. In addition, TrueMove and DTAC tied in our 3G download category with average connection speeds just over 3 Mbps. TrueMove's 4G upload result was particularly impressive as it was more than 3 Mbps faster than either of its rivals’ scores. But in 4G download speed and overall download speed, TrueMove may soon face some competition from a resurgent DTAC.

DTAC recently launched LTE in the 2300 MHz band, naming the new enhanced 4G service Turbo. While the new network has only been live a few months and only in parts of the country, it appears to be having an impact on its 4G download results. DTAC's average 4G download speed increased by nearly 1 Mbps to 8.3 Mbps in the last six months. Meanwhile, our results show that AIS's and TrueMove's 4G download speeds both fell in the same time period. The shift in speeds allowed DTAC to leapfrog over AIS into second place in both our 4G download and overall download metrics and put it within a megabit of matching TrueMove in both categories.

In our 4G latency category, TrueMove was again the runaway winner with an excellent response time of 34 milliseconds. Latency is a measure of how quickly a data request makes a round trip through the network. Connections with lower latency produce faster loading times for web content and less lag in real-time communications apps. TrueMove had the only sub-40ms 4G latency in our Thailand results, but it drew with AIS for the award in our 3G latency category.

Competition increases in our regional comparison

In our last report, TrueMove made a clean sweep of our awards in multiple regions and multiple categories. In this report, much of our awards chart is still painted TrueMove red, but in many categories the operator faced stiff competition. The most notable shift was in 4G availability. AIS was the uncontested winner of our 4G availability awards in all five regions. The strongest region for AIS in this metric was the Central region, containing Bangkok, where it scored a result of 92.3%. Central was a high point for all three operators, however, as none of them had a 4G availability score below 87% in the region.

In 4G download speed, TrueMove won our award outright in the East and South, but in the Central, North and Northeast regions, DTAC's new network upgrades impacted its results. DTAC drew with TrueMove in our 4G download results in all three regions. In overall download speed, DTAC made similar challenges to TrueMove in the North and Northeast. In 3G download speed, however, DTAC had the upper hand. DTAC won our 3G download speed awards in the South and North, while TrueMove won it in the East. The two operators split the remaining two 3G download awards in the Central and East regions. No operator got even close to challenging TrueMove in our 4G upload speed metric. It won our upload awards handily in all five regions.

Thailand will be an interesting country to watch as it moves into the next phase of its 4G development. Thai operators have already built their LTE networks far and wide, and now it seems we're seeing the first steps towards boosting Thailand's historically low download speeds. The internal dynamics are also fascinating. If DTAC and AIS continue to make gains, we may well see even more shifts in our regional and national results in upcoming reports.

Our Methodology

OpenSignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks as they go about their daily lives. We collect 3 billion individual measurements every day from tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

Our measurements are collected at all hours of the day, every day of the year, under conditions of normal usage, including inside buildings and outdoors, in cities and the countryside, and everywhere in between. By analyzing on-device measurements recorded in the places where subscribers actually live, work and travel, we report on mobile network service the way users truly experience it.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the changing experience of consumers on mobile networks and, therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only. For more information on how we collect and analyze our data, see our methodology page.

For this particular report, 857,341,028 datapoints were collected from 109,807 users during the period: 2018-07-01 - 2018-09-28.

For every metric we've calculated statistical confidence intervals and plotted them on all of the graphs. When confidence intervals overlap for a certain metric, our measured results are too close to declare a winner in a particular category. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

©2018 OpenSignal, Inc. All rights reserved.

OpenSignal, Inc retains ownership of this report including all intellectual property rights, data, content, graphs & analysis. Reports produced by OpenSignal, Inc may not be quoted, reproduced, distributed, published for any commercial purpose (including use in advertisements or other promotional content) without prior written consent.

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