I’ve been banging on now for a couple weeks about using Cost Containment to advance your career. But what exactly is Cost Containment? Is it as simple as spending less money? Must essential services be foregone; customer-pleasing amenities eliminated?
Cost Containment is about providing similar services more cheaply, or additional services for roughly the same amount. Broadly speaking, there are 4 categories of Cost Containment.
- Negative Expenses
We will discuss these categories one by one to better understand how they can work for your network. Continue reading “What is Cost Containment?”
I’ve said it before: the best infrastructure is invisible because you don’t see it until it breaks. Even worse, no one ever expects it to break. Infrastructure is taken for granted; always there, always doing what it should.
When it does break, oh the outrage, the inconvenience. How could it fail at this time, why now? If you don’t believe it, ask yourself a question. When was the last time you paused in quiet appreciation as fresh, clean water poured from the faucet? How long has it been since you marveled that a room was illuminated the instant you operated the light switch? How often do you thank your broadband provider when FaceBook floods your Messenger with notifications?
On the other hand, remember how inconvenienced you felt when water service was shut off? When commercial electric power failed during a storm? When the speed of your Internet speed crawled to a halt? Continue reading “Infrastructure as an Expectation “
It is often said that the best infrastructure is invisible because you don’t even know it is there until it breaks. In Telecoms, it means that the network should simply work without problems and the Technical Team responsible for that network remains behind the scenes, out of view.
For telecom engineers, this approach can have negative consequences. For example, maybe you have done a great job but you never got any recognition. The best boss I ever had, Eddie, felt this was how things were supposed to be. Eddie was always proud, but a little uncomfortable, when his Technical team won awards, which frequently they did, within the company. Eddie was CTO at that time and felt that Engineers belonged in the background, out of sight, dragging their knuckles quietly, certainly not on stage accepting awards in recognition of their outstanding performance. Continue reading “Advance Your Telecom Career with Cost Containment “
Yesterday Bangkok Post reported that Thailand’s largest mobile operator, Advanced Information Services, AIS, had agreed to participate in the re-auction of a single license of 10 MHz bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum. This is the license that JAS Mobile won in the auction last December and then forfeited by not making the first payment in March. The article says that AIS’ auction participation was “in exchange for an extension of the right to retain [AIS’] existing 400,000-strong 2G customer base”. This quid pro quo intrigued me, so let’s draft a business case together to understand the money. Continue reading “AIS will Participate in Thai Re-Auction”
After weeks of relative quiet in the #Thai4G Spectrum story today there is interesting news. Joseph Waring at Mobile World Live gives the details.
Essentially, here is the recap:
- The spectrum won by by Jas Mobile in the NBTC 900 MHz auction last December, then forfeited for non-payment, will be re-auctioned by order of the Thai Prime Minister’s Digital Economy Commission.
- JAS Mobile has been barred from participating, though they have ben given the privilege of paying the costs of the re-auction. Not much word from JAS since this transpired.
- Thai Operator Dtac has said they are not interested to participate, probably hoping to acquire spectrum at more sensible prices in a couple years. Maybe by then the Thai government will have published a spectrum roadmap.
- True Move has only recently declined to participate in the auction. After paying THB75Billion for another license this seems the smarter play. Doubling down on a second license would saddle True with tremendous debt. And this is serious debt relative to any normal Mobile industry metric.
- One such metric is the cost per MHz-POP, in other words, how much did the license cost relative to the amount of a spectrum and the number of possible subscribers?
- The price True paid for the other license is comparable to some of the higher western rates, around USD1.6/MHz-POP. But in Western countries there is another metric, ARPU, or Average monthly Revenue pre Subscriber, which is near USD40 and sometimes higher. Here in Thailand ARPU is closer to USD6. Another way to look at that is that True’s spectrum debt is 7 times higher than western counterparts. That level of debt will be very challenging to service, so avoiding this re-auction is a better plan.
So the only auction participant remaining is Ais, Thailand’s largest Mobile Operator. Ais won no licenses in the 2 earlier auctions, and with their 4G traffic growing in leaps and bounds, they should have their eyes on preventing network congestion.
As with the initial spectrum auctions, questions now turn to the rules governing the process. What kind of auction can be had with only a single participant? How firm is the rule that the license price this time must be no less than the price previously bid? If that rule were to be relaxed, how might the other operators be given another chance to bid? Since the last auction, has the Thai government learned anything about letters of credit or surety bonds? Speaking of the government, is anyone checking into which pockets True’s license fee is going?
These are a small sample of questions. Feel free to suggest more in the comments.
Having won a 900 MHz license Jasmine Mobile (JAS) must now build a mobile network and launch their service. Everyone is asking “When will JAS launch 4G service?”
Of course, JAS wants to launch as quickly as possible. The Finance department is especially keen to begin collecting revenue so that loans can be serviced. With a THB70 Billion license fee, interest alone is likely around 6 Million/day. JAS aspires to attract 2 Million subscribers in the 1st year of service. Assuming ARPU of 200 and Churn of 10%, that represents revenue of around 11 Million/day. Put those 2 together and every day Launch is delayed or accelerated costs or benefits JAS 17 Million! 17 Million here and there and pretty soon you’re talking real money. So there will be tremendous pressure to get the network into service as quickly as possible. Continue reading “When will JAS Mobile Launch 4G Service?”
The long-awaited, continually challenged, frequently changed and oft-delayed auction of 1800 MHz spectrum in Thailand was finally held Wednesday, November 11. Both AIS and True Move won 15 MHz licenses. Total receipts for the Thai government were almost 81 billion Thai Baht (USD 2.25 billion.)
Read coverage of the story at these links:
Update 24 November. More sources with stories about the Thai auctions.
900 MHz licenses are expected to be auctioned next month now that a possible legal challenge from CAT has been thwarted. Bangkok Post reports on the deal. The same for companies, Dtac, True Move, Ais and Jasmine International have signed up to participate in the 900 MHz auctions for 2 licenses of 10 MHz.