Thailand’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, DTAC, part of the Telenor group, has posted revenue of THB23.9 billion (USD1 billion) for the first quarter of 2013, up 6.2% year-on-year. Total sales were boosted by a 49.6% increase in non-voice sales, comfortably more than offsetting a 7.1% decline in pre-paid voice revenue. Operating income for the quarter came in at THB4.1 billion, flat year-on-year despite the higher sales, in part due to higher selling and administrative expenses and increased provision for bad debt. Buoyed by the relatively strong results, DTAC announced that it would boost its CAPEX guidance for 2013 to a minimum of THB12.5 billion (up from a minimum of THB8 billion). A large part of that spending will be on the company’s 2.1GHz 3G network, with DTAC seeking to cover 30% of the population with the network by the end of 2013, and 80% by the end of 2015, one year earlier than the NBTC’s coverage requirement. The 2.1GHz 3G network is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2013, and will supplement the cellco’s existing 3G 850MHz network.
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