July 2019, eight months has passed since our last broadband comparison table. When we look back at our last article about broadband in Myanmar, we have to admit that nothing really revolutionary has happened over this period.
Average price per mbps continue to crash at a rapid pace. We can’t help noticing that a virtual floor price was hit already last year, forcing ISPs to shift their pricing strategy: giving more bandwidth for the same price.
And this is clearly something that strike us when we refreshed our price table. Price plans are mostly the same as eight months ago, but bandwidth has significantly increased.
This is definitely a good thing for the end consumer and for the ISP’s themselves that are slowly catching up on 4G speeds and finally providing bandwidth capacity more aligned with their medium -fiber- capability.
10mbps is the new black
Myanmar broadband market could look cryptic for those that are catching up at that stage. There are so many Internet Service Providers in the market, all having their own price plan with seasonal promotions, discount based on payment terms and even special plans only advertised BTL (below the line) or through Facebook resellers.
But there is one constant that seems to be set in stone: the price every ISP is shooting for.
This price is Ks 40,000 and you can mark my word on that. This is every service provider goal for home broadband. And it appears clearly on every ISP pricing, every advertisement, every promotion.
Today this price stands for 10mbps. Eight month ago, it stood for 4 mbps. It is more likely to be close to 20 or even 50mbps by the end of the year. This is how fast prices change in Myanmar. And some ISPs like AGB are already there:
Following trends observed in other countries, ISP’s in Myanmar are going to less and less advertise on speed as it will become irrelevant at some short point in time. Price structure will considerably get simplified over time and some may end up with one unique plan which speed will be advertised as “up to” which means “whatever the pipe can provide or whatever bandwidth is available at this given time”.
Where Myanmar is lagging behind
We have spoken in the past about the absolute necessity for Myanmar Internet providers to bundle bandwidth with video, fixed voice and/or mobile voice. As of today, the offer is still sadly limited.
MPT is definitely the provider that offers the most advanced internet bundle in the market. Mytel has an interesting offering even though it is limited to only one mobile number. This is definitely a miss considering home broadband is usually for a household and Mytel missed a big chance to build a community around its home broadband offering.
Myanmarnet, one of the biggest ISP in Myanmar teamed up with Viu to bundle Internet with OTT. That is a first step though quite limited. 5BB has also developed its own streaming platform called LaLaKy. Yet, integration seems absent.
Where is Ananda?
Ananda launched in May 2018 and the first few months that followed were catastrophic for the 4G provider due to dramatic technical issues. Since then, Ananda has been awfully quiet. To be fair, its offering has evolved but nothing revolutionary. Considering the substantial investment on both license and network accomplished by the new ISP, it is surprising to see Ananda blending into the masses.
We all know the importance of Facebook in Myanmar and in a way the number of fans is a good hint of brand awareness. To put it in perspective, Ananda Facebook page counts 185k fans which is just half the fans of 5BB and one eighth of Myanmarnet fans. Quite dramatic for a service provider which ambition to challenge mobile operators.
Despite the hefty competition, new providers continue to launch services even in crowded areas like Yangon.
One of them is Digi. For those who wonder, Digi is totally unrelated to Telenor group or its Malaysian subsidiary DiGi.
Strangely, Digi does not operate a website or even a Facebook page at this stage. Digi sells through an army of online resellers that advertise on Facebook and Below The Line. Strange strategy but surely cost effective.
Finally, the home broadband comparison table
Note: Some speeds round-up for display purpose
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Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.