Myanmar rivals start data tariff price war

Ooredoo and Telenor have kicked off a race to the bottom for data pricing in Myanmar.

After Ooredoo launched an offer pricing 1MB of data at just MMK6 (less than half a cent), Telenor responded within hours by offering the same amount of data for MMK5. The original Ooredoo offer was already aimed at bringing the operator’s prices in line with Telenor’s. Both operators are now selling data for around $4.50-$5.40 per gigabyte.

Myanmar last year allowed foreign companies to begin offering services within the market, and over the past three years the number of mobile connections has leapt from 1 million to over 18 million. Of these, 40% are mobile broadband connections.

Telenor now has around 6.4 million connections, giving it a 31% market share. Ooredoo meanwhile has 3.3 million subscribers, while state operator MPT has around 8.4 million for a 52% market share. Ooredoo has stated its ambition to extend its coverage to 75% of the population by the year-end – currently its official figure is at 45%.

The low costs for data have driven smartphone adoption in the market. Around 80% of Ooredoo’s subscribers are smartphone users, while for Telenor the figure is around 60%. There is significant room for growth, with a 28% SIM penetration rate. The country’s total population is 54 million.

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