Big surge in mobile data usage as Thailand goes into day 2 of military coup

Thailand coup (and no TV) causes surge in mobile internet usage

(Photo credit: TechinAsia’s reporter in Bangkok)

Thailand had no terrestrial or cable TV for 24 hours as all stations had to broadcast the military’s Channel 5 following yesterday’s coup. Plus there’s a curfew in place from 10pm to 5am each day. Unsurprisingly, people in Thailand are instead turning to the internet for news and entertainment.

This afternoon, Thailand’s second biggest mobile telco company, Dtac (SET: DTAC; SGX:B2W), revealed that it saw a big surge in mobile data usage from yesterday at 4:30 pm to today at 12 noon. Usage was 25 percent higher than normal, the company said in an email.

Dtac added that the company “is monitoring the political situation and security-related developments” after the military junta take-over. The telco also promised that it has “put in place contingency plans to cope with voice and data congestion and any other situation” during surges in usage as a result of the coup. Dtac has 20 million 2G subscribers and an additional 10.6 million using 3G and 4G.

See: Troops and tanks hit streets of Thailand while people take selfies and post pics of ‘hot’ soldiers

Normal TV service was permitted at 4 pm local time today (Update: Added in corrections about the broadcast TV situation).

Earlier today, the coup leaders summoned Thailand’s internet service providers to a meeting. That comes after yesterday’s warning that sites will be blocked if incendiary content is posted, and social media will be monitored.

Editing by Paul Bischoff
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