The Driving postpaid migration in emerging Asia–Pacific: strategies for success

Emerging AsiaPacific mobile network operators (MNOs) can do more to migrate subscribers to postpaid offers they are underachieving comapred to MNOs in other emerging markets. Better assessing credit risk, improving the attractiveness of postpaid offers relative to prepaid ones, and tariff and digitalisation innovation are all ways in which MNOs could boost postpaid penetration.

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Executive summary

EMAP MNOs are not migrating as many customers to postpaid contracts as those in other countries

Better credit scoring, pricing innovation and improved differentiation from prepaid offers can all increase operators postpaid shares



Bad debt is a significant and growing threat for EMAP MNOs seeking to drive postpaid penetration

Operators can use different approaches to assess the risks of offering customers postpaid subscriptions

The existence of credit bureaus can help increase postpaid penetration and MNOs can invest in such institutions

Prepaid customers usage data could be used to encourage postpaid migration, although such strategies are at an early stage


Postpaid prices in some markets are simply too high compared to prepaid ones to encourage growth in postpaid penetration

MNOs in Indonesia and the Philippines need to place more emphasis on developing affordable entry-level postpaid tariffs

U-Mobile and redONE have successfully driven postpaid growth by targeting the lower-cost end of this segment

Subsidies are not essential to drive postpaid growth in EMAP, but they can help do so

Removing some features from prepaid offers has helped to significantly increase postpaid penetration in Brazil


Fixedmobile bundles can help drive postpaid penetration True in Thailand is a good example of this

Attractive charges for out-of-bundle usage can play a role in driving postpaid penetration in EMAP

Innovation around unlimited data and voice offers can also ease customers concerns about out-of-bundle charges

Strong differentiation between on- and off-net calls makes little sense if EMAP operators wish to boost postpaid penetration

Digitalisation may result in greater convenience for subscribers and therefore has a role in driving postpaid penetration in EMAP

Digitalisation has played a role in Digis better postpaid performance compared to Maxis and Celcom, but it is not the only factor


EMAP MNOs have higher postpaid churn than those in other emerging market, but postpaid churn is still well below prepaid levels

Most EMAP markets have very low credit card penetration, even compared to other emerging markets

Postpaid offers with add-on packages have played an important role in postpaid penetration growth in Peru

Additional data top-ups are not disproportionately more expensive in EMAP than in other emerging markets with higher postpaid penetration


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List of figures

Figure 1: Postpaid migration can deliver important benefits to EMAP MNOs

Figure 2: Nominal GDP per capita and postpaid share of active SIMs, 2016, selected countries

Figure 3: Three key focus areas for MNOs driving postpaid migration

Figure 4: Bad debt as a percentage of postpaid revenue, selected operators, 2Q 2017

Figure 5: Postpaid subscription requirements for selected EMAP operators

Figure 6: Postpaid share of subscribers and private credit bureau population coverage, selected markets, 2016

Figure 7: Prepaid and postpaid ARPU, selected markets, 2016

Figure 8: Change in ratio of postpaid to prepaid ARPU, selected operators, 1Q 20161Q 2017

Figure 9: Prepaid ARPU, entry-level postpaid price and ratio of these two measures, selected operators, 1Q 2017

Figure 10: Postpaid net additions by operator, Malaysia, 20132016

Figure 11: Ratio of postpaid subscriber acquisition cost to postpaid ARPU, by selected operator, 2016

Figure 12: Numbers of prepaid and postpaid SIMs and postpaid share of total SIMs, 4Q 20131Q 2017

Figure 13: Number of postpaid subscribers by type of offer and double- and triple-play share of postpaid subscribers, True, Thailand, 1Q 20151Q 2017

Figure 14: Average Net Promoter Score by amount of data allowance used, postpaid subscribers, Malaysia, 2016

Figure 15: Quarterly postpaid net additions and DTAC share of postpaid net additions, 1Q 20161Q 2017

Figure 16: Digitalisation initiatives that could drive growth in postpaid penetration

Figure 17: Postpaid subscriber net additions by MNO, Malaysia, 2015 and 2016

Figure 18: Prepaid and postpaid average monthly churn, selected operators, 1Q 2017

Figure 19: Credit card population penetration, selected markets, 2014

Figure 20: Active SIMs by type and total postpaid share of active SIMs, Peru, 1Q 20091Q 2017

Figure 21: Postpaid ARPU, price of additional 1GB top-up for postpaid customers1 and price of additional top-up as a percentage of postpaid ARPU by operator, 1Q 2017

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