In July 2018, Telenor released a promising fixed wireless product called Home Wireless Internet.
The Wireless Internet plans were a welcome addition to Telenor portfolio as it offers a plug and play Internet access solution for customers out of fiber coverage or looking for a quick installation.
Telenor Home Wireless relies on the same 4G network used by its mobile subscribers.
To prevent any down-sell on its data revenue, Telenor Home Wireless Internet is locked to the customer location which prevent the customer from roaming around with the wireless box. Therefore, this is not a mobile broadband service.
Price-wise, Telenor offers the wireless kit for 90,000Ks with 3 months Unlimited Internet at 5 Mbps. That is 22% more expensive than the launch price nearly 2 years ago.
After 3 months, subscribers will be charged 70,000 Ks for another 90 Days of Unlimited Internet at 5 Mbps. That is once again more expensive than the launch offer by 35%.
The home broadband internet access comes with a high speed Wi-Fi router that needs to be returned to Telenor in case of termination.
Fair Use Policy:
Telenor Broadband implements a Fair Use Policy on its home wireless data plans. A fair use policy is a policy put in place by an Internet provider of unlimited broadband Internet that limits the amount of data usage in a given billing cycle.
Telenor subscribers can consume to 111 GB per month. Once the quota is used up, the service is not interrupted but Internet speed is limited to 512 Kbps.
For those looking to lift the Fair Usage Policy, Telenor made available three data add-ons from 5,000 Ks to 15,000 Ks.
Fixed Wireless Broadband, a solid opportunity for mobile telcos?
As we stated earlier, Telenor Broadband leverages the same network as mobile subscribers.
While mobile users are paying ~1000 Ks for 1 GB of data, home subscribers can enjoy unlimited data for 23,000 Ks per month. Even if the fair use cap was a hard cap, home users would benefit from a much more competitive pricing than mobile subs: 210Ks for 1 GB. That is a quarter of the average price for mobile data!
The motivation behind such a bargain is that Telenor like Ooredoo are looking to optimize revenue and profitability of their network. And to achieve this, they are looking at optimizing each tower individually.
A mobile network is composed of radio cells. Each radio cell has a radius of coverage around the tower. These radio cells need to overlap to create consistent coverage. This means that some cells may be installed just for the sake of creating consistent coverage. They are generating an overlap so that customers roaming around do not experience loss of signal that can lead to drop calls.
Logically, some radio cells located in dense urban areas are busy all the time. They are generating consistent revenue to the mobile operator and if we had to do a business case at the cell level, it will be extremely positive. On the opposite, Radio cells deployed for coverage purpose receive less traffic and generate less revenue. These empty cells weight on the telco P&L because they bear the same fixed costs than the busy cells such as site rental, electricity and maintenance.
Offering residential broadband on the empty cells is a smart way to create incremental revenue with very little incremental cost. This pricing strategy is called price segmentation and aim to increase overall profit and revenue.
Telenor vs Ooredoo vs Ananda
Ooredoo and Ananda both offer similar home wireless products.
Ooredoo Broadband offers two options for home wireless access
Supernet Wireless is composed of a Wi-Fi Router bundled with a 90-day welcome pack delivering unlimited data at 5 Mbps. The plan comes with a daily fair use policy of 2 GB or 4 GB per day.
Supernet Wireless Mini combines a small hotspot device with a capped data plan of 50 GB for 50 Days.
Ananda is not a mobile operator but a wireless internet service provider operating a 4G Network. The Internet provider offers a wide range of volume-based and unlimited data plans. Ananda also offers a 90-day bundle Wireless Router + Unlimited High Speed Internet at Ks 90,000.
Unlike its competitors, Ananda does not limit the download or upload speed on its plans. The Internet provider coverage area is for the time being limited to Yangon and Mandalay. A precise coverage map can be found here.
Ananda enforces a substantial fair use policy on its unlimited plans. The cap is the highest of the three service providers: 300 GB per month.
Here is the competitive analysis of these three wireless Internet providers:
Telenor is by far the most competitive offer in the market. For heavy users, Ananda can be a good fit with a very generous fair use policy.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.