Shortly after its 4G launch, Telenor releases a new range of data packages called Data SuBoo.
These packages come in replacement of Telenor Data Parcel that are no longer available since 17th July 2017.
This announcement is a little surprise knowing Telenor Data Parcel was launched only five months ago. Parcel has had a short life and obviously did not fit with the company expectations.
Back in February, Telenor launched with Data Parcel the biggest data packs in the country with a rollover option month and month. Ooredoo rapidly replied with Paung Kuu, a similar range of data packs slightly cheaper. MPT also entered the dance with a promotion on its colorful packs.
It is hard to explain why Telenor decide to put an end to Data Parcel but comparing Parcel and SuBoo will definitely give us a hint.
First of all, the whole marketing around SuBoo is on the price per MB. Up to 1.25Ks/MB is the selling point on the website.
The comparison demonstrates clearly that SuBoo packages represent a huge drop of price compared to Parcel. At least at same budget level. Saying that, we cannot help noticing that the XL data packs disappear. The biggest Telenor data pack used to be 120GB, it is now 14GB. It looks like Telenor is coming back from its strategy to sell mobile data for home broadband.
The reason behind is unclear. But we can possibly assume that the telecom operator is looking at segmenting the market from a technology perspective.
On one hand, 4G for mobile data and on the other hand FTTx for fixed data. This represents a huge step backward in a few month time and we can also possible assume that the big data packages did not meet the success expected or were not as profitable as expected.
To understand that, it is important to explain that the whole design of volume based packages sits on a usage assumption i.e. How much will the customer consume in average. This provide the operator the blended cost and then gross margin. It is possible that the assumptions behind Parcel’s largest packages were too optimistic. Large packages are usually activated by heavy users that are more likely to use up the full quota no matter how big it is.
Now that SuBoo is live, it is also interesting to see how it stands compared to Ooredoo Paung Kuu and MPT Colourful data packs.
On this area, SuBoo clearly catches up on Paung Kuu. The 2GB package -which represent a good fit for a reasonable mobile data usage- is charged the same price with Ooredoo and Telenor: 2,999Ks.
Ooredoo pricing non sense
On a side note, Ooredoo Paung Kuu is a complete non sense from a pricing perspective. The cheapest pack – 800MB – has a lower cost per MB than most of the Paung Kuu packages! It is also as cost effective to pick the 2GB pack or the 6GB pack. The pricing is not decreasing gradually which leave the opportunity for the customer to play around the packs and optimize its costs.
Coming back to Telenor, these new packages are well shaped and will certainly please mobile customers for the majority. For those that used to rely on Data Parcel for home broadband, Data SuBoo will be a major disappointment. Let see if Telenor comes up with a specific mobile data product for their needs or exclusively focus on fiber for home broadband.
The new pricing landscape is rapidly evolving as mobile operators adjust to each other and transform their offers to fit customer needs.
As the offers become more complex and the portfolio richer, the prices are more likely to stabilize as every change will have to be carefully assess by the mobile operator to not cannibalize its own porfolio.
Mobile operators recently launched video and social packs which blended price is closely intricate to the all data inclusive packs. There is a clear trend to pivot around a blended price of 1Ks per MB from a pricing perspective. Above 1Ks for massive offers, below 1Ks for segmented offers.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.