Thailand

Mobile Network Experience Report
May 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Thailand
Total Devices
5,866,404
Total Measurements
896,527,121
Data Collection Period
Jan 01 Mar 31, 2019

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Kevin Fitchard Principal Analyst

Key findings

DTAC jumps into the lead in Download Speed Experience

DTAC has toppled TrueMove from its download speed pedestal. Over the last six months DTAC's Download Speed Experience score increased by more than a megabit while TrueMove's score dipped slightly, allowing DTAC to win this award for the first time. TrueMove, however, maintained its superiority in our upload metrics, winning our Upload Speed Experience award with room to spare.

AIS holds onto our 4G Availability award

AIS's high level of 4G Availability remained steady since our last Thailand report with a score just a fraction of a percentage point shy of 90%. We typically see 90% or greater 4G Availability scores in early adopter countries with extremely developed 4G networks. Thailand's other two operators weren't far behind the leader, though, both with 4G Availability scores above 86%.

TrueMove and DTAC are neck-and-neck in Video Experience

TrueMove and DTAC were tied in our Video Experience metric, both with scores in the Fair range (40-55) of our 100-point video quality scale. AIS, however, fell into the Poor range with a score of 37.5.

Thailand remains focused on 4G reach instead of speed

As 4G Availability keeps climbing, Thailand is set to join the world's elite in 4G reach, but the same can't be said for mobile broadband speeds. With the exception of DTAC, 4G Download Speeds continue to decline in Thailand, while 4G Upload Speeds are either falling or remaining static for all three operators, according to our analysis. For the moment at least, Thailand seems committed to expanding access to LTE rather than on providing powerful mobile broadband connections.

Introduction

Thailand has continued its rapid rise up the global charts in 4G Availability, making LTE connections in the country pervasive — but mobile broadband speeds haven't followed the same trajectory. With one notable exception, overall upload and download speeds are either static or declining among Thailand's operators. There are some signs that this trend may be reversing though. DTAC's Download Speed Experience score has been rising over the last 12 months, showing that one operator has made boosting the power of its users’ connections a priority. That may just provide the competitive motivation AIS and TrueMove need to focus on boosting their users' average speeds as well. (Click here for a Thai language version of this report.)

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Thailand
May 2019, Thailand Report
4G Availability
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
May 2019, Thailand
4G Availability
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
May 2019, Thailand
Video Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
4G Availability
in %
AIS
89.9
TrueMove
87.2
DTAC
86.7
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

4G Availability

The level of 4G access in Thailand continues to improve. Since our last report, we recorded increases in 4G Availability from two operators. DTAC's 4G Availability score grew more than 3 percentage points to 86.7%, while TrueMove's score grew by 1 percentage point to 87.2%. AIS's 4G Availability remained static over the last six months at about 89.9%, but its strong position in this metric allowed it to maintain its position at the top of our availability rankings.

4G Availability
in %
AIS
89.9
TrueMove
87.2
DTAC
86.7
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

All three major operators in Thailand are now closing in on 90% 4G Availability, which would mark a major milestone in the country's mobile broadband development. Around the world, operators who have crossed the 90% mark tend to be among the early adopters of LTE technologies and have very mature 4G rollouts. In short, Thailand is beginning to assume a place among the world's elite in 4G reach.

Video Experience

The consumer mobile Video Experience in Thailand is in need of improvement as no operator scored particularly well in this category. DTAC and TrueMove were tied for our Video Experience award as both had scores above 47 in our 100-point video quality scale. That earned them both Fair (40-55) ratings, which generally indicates slower video loading times and more frequent stalling during playback, especially at higher resolutions. AIS, however, garnered a Poor rating (0-40) with a score of 37.5, which generally indicates long load limes and a high rate of stalling at both low and high resolutions.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AIS
37.5
TrueMove
48.1
DTAC
47.3
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
43.7 (± 0.52) 54.2 (± 0.57) 54.2 (± 0.64)
3G Video Experience
23.7 (± 0.89) 32.6 (± 1.03) 30.7 (± 1.30)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
44 (± 0.52)
54 (± 0.57)
54 (± 0.64)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
24 (± 0.89)
33 (± 1.03)
31 (± 1.30)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we look at 4G connections only, we see Video Experience was definitely better for all three operators, though TrueMove and DTAC's matching 4G Video Experience scores of 54.2 weren't enough to elevate either into a Good rating (55-65). AIS, however, did join its rivals in Fair Video Experience territory when we looked at 4G tests only.

Download Speed Experience

For the last several reports TrueMove has dominated our speed metrics, but in the last year we've been tracking some significant gains in Download Speed Experience from competitor DTAC. In our most recent data collection period, DTAC's progress in this metric was enough to overtake its rival. DTAC's Download Speed Experience score increased by 1.1 Mbps to 7.6 Mbps, while TrueMove's score fell incrementally. The combination of the two trends pushed DTAC over the top in our rankings. DTAC's Download Speed Experience is definitely benefiting from its improved 4G Availability, but DTAC is also investing in LTE network capacity by launching new 4G services in the 2300 MHz band. According to DTAC's 2018 annual report, it has rolled out more than 12,000 base stations supporting the new frequencies. Meanwhile, TrueMove's slight dip in Download Speed Experience doesn't necessarily signal a drop in capacity. TrueMove offers several tiers of mobile data plans, many of which cap speeds at different levels. Those restrictions are likely limiting average speeds across our user base.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
AIS
4.3
TrueMove
7.0
DTAC
7.6
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
5.5 (± 0.09) 8.5 (± 0.12) 9.7 (± 0.16)
3G Download Speed
1.6 (± 0.03) 3.0 (± 0.05) 2.3 (± 0.05)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.09)
9 (± 0.12)
10 (± 0.16)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.03)
3 (± 0.05)
2 (± 0.05)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Breaking down our download metrics by technology, we see that 4G Download Speed remains slow in Thailand. Not a single operator averaged 4G download connections faster than 10 Mbps in our analysis. Thailand's sluggish average download speeds should be a matter of some concern. Apart from DTAC, Download Speed Experience and 4G Download Speed are trending downward not upward. At this stage of its development, Thailand's mobile industry is clearly prioritizing 4G accessibility over the connection speed offered to consumers. DTAC's recent gains in speed, however, may spur other operators to follow suit.

Upload Speed Experience

Though TrueMove may have lost its title in Download Speed Experience, it was unquestionably the winner in Upload Speed Experience. Its average overall upload speed of 5.9 Mbps was more than double either of its competitors' scores.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
AIS
2.5
TrueMove
5.9
DTAC
2.5
0 1.875 3.75 5.625 7.5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
3.2 (± 0.05) 7.5 (± 0.06) 3.1 (± 0.04)
3G Upload Speed
0.7 (± 0.02) 1.7 (± 0.03) 1.0 (± 0.03)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
3 (± 0.05)
8 (± 0.06)
3 (± 0.04)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.02)
2 (± 0.03)
1 (± 0.03)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

What was particularly impressive about TrueMove's Upload Speed Experience score, however, was that it was only a megabit shy of its Download Speed Experience score. TrueMove is offering nearly symmetrical connections, which is quite shocking given we typically see upload speeds less than half of download speeds, even on the world's most advanced mobile networks. One possibility is that while TrueMove is restricting 4G download speeds on some of its plans, it's likely placing no limitations on upload speeds, which would create more parity between upstream and downstream connections. Regardless of the reason, faster uploads give TrueMove a significant advantage as mobile user behavior changes. Social media and two-way video apps require a more powerful upstream connection as users are no longer merely consuming content but creating it.

Latency Experience

Our Latency Experience award also went to TrueMove. Its overall network response time of 40.3 milliseconds wasn't just a good score for Thailand, but a respectable rating globally. Many countries with very advanced 4G infrastructures are now pushing Latency Experience scores to the 30ms mark or lower. TrueMove isn't quite there yet, but it's made a lot more progress than its competitors and many other operators in much more mature mobile markets.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
AIS
49.8
TrueMove
40.3
DTAC
50.1
0 13.75 27.5 41.25 55
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
43.5 (± 0.13) 33.6 (± 0.11) 43.0 (± 0.17)
3G Latency
64.0 (± 0.58) 57.5 (± 0.52) 67.5 (± 0.84)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
44 (± 0.13)
34 (± 0.11)
43 (± 0.17)
3G Latency in ms
64 (± 0.58)
57 (± 0.52)
68 (± 0.84)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Both AIS and DTAC had Latency Experience scores roughly 10ms behind the leader. This metric could prove to be another competitive differentiator for TrueMove as Thai consumers embrace video chat and other real-time social communications apps. Lower latency means less lag in call or chat sessions, thus a better Latency Experience score would produce an improved mobile consumer experience over many of the most popular services on smartphones today.

Regional Analysis

In our regional breakdown, we compared five distinct areas of Thailand, but it wasn't much of a contest. The Central region, which includes metropolitan Bangkok, excelled in every single one of our metrics. Download and Upload Speed Experience was higher, all three of Thailand's operators earned a Fair Video Experience rating, and Latency Experience scores were much improved. In 4G Availability, however, we saw the most impressive numbers in that region. All three operators had 4G Availability scores above 90% in Central Thailand.

The winners of our regional awards largely mirrored our national results. AIS won our 4G Availability award in every area, while TrueMove won all five Upload Speed Experience awards and four of our Latency Experience awards. In Central Thailand, TrueMove was the uncontested leader in our Video Experience award, but in the other four regions DTAC and TrueMove replicated the draw we found in our national results. It was in Download Speed Experience, though, that we found the most competition. DTAC repeated its national win in Central Thailand, but in the other four regions it was deadlocked with TrueMove in Download Speed Experience.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Central

4G Availability
in Central
in %
AIS
92.4
TrueMove
90.4
DTAC
90.1
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Video Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
AIS
44.3
TrueMove
53.2
DTAC
50.5
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
AIS
6.2
TrueMove
8.2
DTAC
9.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
AIS
4.1
TrueMove
6.7
DTAC
2.9
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Latency Experience
in Central
in ms
AIS
41.2
TrueMove
34.7
DTAC
44.4
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East

4G Availability
in East
in %
AIS
90.6
TrueMove
87.1
DTAC
85.0
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Video Experience
in East
in 0-100 points
AIS
38.7
TrueMove
45.6
DTAC
45.1
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Download Speed Experience
in East
in Mbps
AIS
4.6
TrueMove
6.4
DTAC
6.9
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in East
in Mbps
AIS
2.4
TrueMove
5.7
DTAC
2.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in East
in ms
AIS
46.2
TrueMove
35.2
DTAC
46.7
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North

4G Availability
in North
in %
AIS
87.0
TrueMove
84.7
DTAC
83.0
Download Image
Video Experience
in North
in 0-100 points
AIS
37.5
TrueMove
45.5
DTAC
47.9
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in North
in Mbps
AIS
4.2
TrueMove
6.9
DTAC
6.6
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in North
in Mbps
AIS
2.5
TrueMove
5.8
DTAC
2.3
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Latency Experience
in North
in ms
AIS
53.1
TrueMove
47.2
DTAC
57.4
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North East

4G Availability
in North East
in %
AIS
88.0
TrueMove
84.5
DTAC
80.6
Download Image
Video Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
AIS
29.9
TrueMove
42.9
DTAC
42.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
AIS
2.6
TrueMove
5.8
DTAC
6.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
AIS
1.0
TrueMove
5.1
DTAC
2.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in North East
in ms
AIS
57.4
TrueMove
41.2
DTAC
57.2
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South

4G Availability
in South
in %
AIS
88.2
TrueMove
83.1
DTAC
84.3
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Video Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
AIS
32.8
TrueMove
45.0
DTAC
46.2
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
AIS
3.3
TrueMove
6.6
DTAC
6.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
AIS
1.9
TrueMove
5.2
DTAC
2.2
Download Image
Latency Experience
in South
in ms
AIS
57.2
TrueMove
55.8
DTAC
55.8
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Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

More about Methodology

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For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

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