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Saturday, September 21 • 4:33pm - 5:06pm
An Analysis of Consumer Preferences for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communications Services and Mobile Telephony: A Case of Thailand

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This paper examines consumer preferences for voice calling using two methods via a mobile phone—over-the-top (OTT) communications services employing the Internet, and traditional mobile telephony using a cellular network. Due to its two-sided business model, OTT communications essentially offer services to users at no cost, enabling them to successfully compete with traditional telecommunications services. However, there are tradeoffs in using OTT services; for example, service quality is unsatisfactory compared to mobile telephony, and using OTT requires an Internet connection, potentially leading to additional costs. The objective of this paper is to understand consumer behavior in choosing between the two services in different situations of use—formal and casual occasional—and how they prioritize these attributes; service quality, price and Internet connection requirement. A discrete choice experiment was conducted in Thailand in 2019 using a web-based survey and face-to-face interviews. Four-hundred and forty-four responses were received, with respondents valuing service quality the most for both occasions, followed by price and then Internet connection. However, in the situation of formal usage, consumers valued service quality to a significantly higher degree than prices compared to casual use situations. Additionally, willingness to pay for better quality under the formal occasion was found to be 4 Baht per minute, whereas it was 1.4 Baht under the casual situation. Hence, users tend to use different services depending on the occasion of use—consumers tend to call using mobile telephony, the service quality of which is considered to be better, in formal occasions, whereas they use OTT for calls in casual situations. Users are also willing to pay for better quality service in so-called freemium employed services. Implications of these results and policy recommendations are also discussed in this paper.


Heather Hudson

University of Alaska Anchorage


Monarat Jirakasem

Waseda University

Saturday September 21, 2019 4:33pm - 5:06pm PDT
NT07 WCL, 4300 Nebraska Ave, Washington, DC