We promised you a very exciting 2017, we are off to a flying start! February marks the beginning of hostilities. Price war is open and the operators are ready to trade tit for tat.
It all started with Telenor launching a new set of data plans called “Parcel”. From 300MB to 120GB, Parcel plans include a roll over option up to May 2017.
With data plans up to 120GB, the Norwegian operator is thinking big and probably eyeing towards home broadband. Broadband penetration is still very low in Myanmar due to a lack of competitive offers. These new packages combined with a mobile hotspot device are a cost-effective solution to provide Internet connectivity to an entire household.
4 days later…
Ooredoo rapidly fired back with a new offer called “Paung Kuu” launched on February 6th. Ooredoo data packs also size big: 800MB to 130GB.
When we take a look at Ooredoo price plans, it jumps out that the Qatar-based operator designed its data plans in reaction to Telenor and decided to overbid its main competitor.
For example, with an exact same budget of 2,999 Ks per month, a Telenor customer would get 1GB of data whereas an Ooredoo customer gets 2GB. For 19,999 Ks, Telenor provides a 10GB plan and Ooredoo responds back with 14GB.
And the prize for the biggest Internet package goes to…
4 days after Telenor launch a huge 120GB pack, Ooredoo fired back with a 130GB pack at the same price ! (99,999 Ks).
Ooredoo also includes rollover but with no time limit.
2 weeks later…
MPT finally jumped into the battle on February 20th revamping its colourful packs with a new promotion which grants 50% additional data on each package. The most competitive package of the public operator portfolio is the 15GB pack for 18,000Ks (exclusive commercial tax).
Good news for the customers: these new packages are bigger but also much cheaper.
The average blended price (mix all operators) used to be 2,900Ks per GB in December 2016. With these plans, the blended price comes down to 1,600 Ks per GB which represent a 81% drop within a couple of months!
Price comparison table
A good way to look at this table is to round up to a budget figure:
Ooredoo 1 Competition 0
In a nutshell, Ooredoo provides the most cost-effective Internet plans in the market. Only MPT manages to surpass the Qatar-based operator with its 15GB plan.
When it comes to quality, our latest surveys have demonstrated that no operator really outperforms the others. Each mobile operator has its weak spots and there is definitely a lot of room for improvement when it comes to speed and stability.
With the new 4G spectrum allocation in March that will more likely drive a massive 4G launch or re-launch, this is just the beginning of a new battle between the three mobile operators. Ooredoo definitely takes the lead with a very aggressive pricing but Telenor has a big card to play with its 4G launch in Yangon.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.