Mobile Networks in Southeast Asia – Talk is Cheap

Mobile Networks in Southeast Asia – Talk is Cheap

TAKE a taxi in Bangkok and the driver’s mobile phone is sure to chirp. A long conversation ensues, usually by speaker phone, since few cabbies bother with headsets. It is not just that cabbies are chatty; it is also that talk is cheap. Once reserved for the rich, mobile phones are now ubiquitous in South-East Asia. But what is good news for taxi drivers is less so for mobile operators. Price wars in nearly-saturated markets have mangled profit margins. One answer is to prod customers to use data services, such as e-mail, web-browsing and access to a variety of “applications”—all of which could, some analysts think, spur new growth…

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