The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced more consumers to adopt new habits, such as watching shows and sports competitions via online mobile channels. However, if major telecom companies can apply their virtual reality (VR) technologies to the fifth generation (5G) technology, this will not only improve the viewing experience of audiences via online channels just like in real life, but also make the viewing even more fulfilling than through conventional online channels. It is expected that the 5G-based VR technology will create over THB1.7 billion in cash flow within the telecom industry or help promote growth in the telecom industry by 0.64 percent per year. In addition, it will likely pave the way for telecom companies that pioneer the VR entertainment business to become a trailblazer in the online live show and sports steaming business.
The strategies to tap into the VR entertainment business may include establishing partnerships with local record companies or sports teams, as well as commercial partnerships with international organizers. It is expected that people, who regularly watch live shows and sports events, will be the first segment to use the VR entertainment service because it offers viewing experience just like in real life. The second segment may be people with travel difficulties because the VR technology can meet their needs, for instance, enabling them watch their favorite artists at home without any costs.
However, as household debt is set to exceed 80 percent of GDP, which suggests that household spending will likely shrink in line with rising debt, telecom companies in Thailand may have to consider appropriate marketing guidelines to boost service usage. Preliminarily, they may offer a free trial in order to build users' confidence towards the VR entertainment service. It is expected the audiences will be satisfied and use the VR entertainment service again as it is more fulfilling to watch shows and sports events just like in real life.