The gradual launch of 3G service on existing frequencies by major private service providers in 2H11 should play a great role in reforming Thai wireless telecommunications toward high-speed data communications era. 3G technology is also an important mechanism for diversifying non-voice services, particularly online entertainment features, allowing consumers to watch TV, listen to music or play games online.
In a survey conducted by KResearch on Bangkok residents' opinions toward the use of 3G service which has been in testing phase since 2009, it was found that the respondents currently using 3G service accounted for 36.6 percent. However, 89.5 percent of the non-users planned to use this service in the future. Relatively high demand for 3G service, coupled with growth in the smart phone market will help expand non-voice services considerably. KResearch estimates that non-voice service revenue may reach THB3.3-3.5 billion in 2011, growing 27.0-34.6 percent, or accounting for around 20.8 percent of overall mobile service revenues.
According to the survey, the most popular non-voice applications on 3G system included social networks, TV online, new updates and information as well as online music, reflecting demand for new forms of communications, with high volume data transmission of text, images, sound files. Apparently, a popular non-voice service is in the form of online entertainment, allowing consumers to enjoy media immediately after connecting to the Internet, with no need to save files on their mobile devices.