Departmental Bulletin Paper Industrial Organization and Inter-Corporate Relationship : Telecommunications Industry in Thailand

OSATIS, Chadatan

13pp.49 - 65 , 2016-4 , 埼玉大学経済学会
The Thai telecommunications industry presents a complex commercial environment, yet it has exhibited the best performance of all the ASEAN region's telecommunications industries. Although the contribution of telecom services to Thailand's national GDP is small, the growth rate has been substantially increasing. The mobile segment has exhibited the strongest growth, followed by the Internet segment and the broadband segment. This paper aims to clarify the organization of Thailand's telecommunications industry and to describe the value creation opportunities and inter-corporate relationships among all industrial players by utilizing field-work interviews, case-study methods, and also secondary data from NBTC survey reports. The main findings are summarized as follows. First, the Thai telecommunications industry operates within the context of pyramid-shaped industrial organization and hierarchical governance structure. This hierarchical structure reveals that each tier's players perform specific tasks and create particular values according to their functional specialization. The players in the Thai telecom industry can be divided into seven tiers including(1)the regulator-tier(NBTC),(2)the principle-tier telecom operators(AIS, DTAC, and True Move),(3)the vendor-tier multi-national corporations(MNCs),(4)the first-tier main contractor companies,(5)the second-tier subcontracting companies,(6)the third-tier subcontracting teams, and(7)the supplier-tier. Second, the economic value of tasks reflects the underlying competences and capabilities that are the fundamental source of competitiveness of each tier's players in this industry. Not only strengthening competences and capabilities for competitiveness, all the players have to manage challenges or risks of each tier. Third, inter-corporate relationships are based on both vertical and horizontal axes. The Thai telecommunications industry functions as a vertical integration system; wherein the degree of explicit coordination is high and also the degree of power asymmetry is high. The industry's coordination-rich organizational capability ensures the presence of two important components; a system of checks and balances along the chain of command as well as an efficient and accurate of each particular transaction between the principle-tier and the first-second-third tiers.

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