If you remember November 2016, Internet in Myanmar leaked the news that Telenor Myanmar was about to launch video plans.
Back in the days, we got the chance to capture a test webpage on Telenor website that was mainly inspired from Digi Malaysia video freedom plans (Telenor Group). On this hidden page, we were able to get the prime of the new plans details including the pricing: 300Ks per day and 3000Ks per month.
The initial statement was that a fair usage policy applies on these plans. This would basically reduce the customer speed if he exceeds a certain amount of data (not disclosed at that time).
A few days ago, Telenor Myanmar launched officially the Video Packs on the social networks. It was also updated on the corporate website even if the plans are not easy to find to say the least. Same challenge with Telenor new Data Parcel Packs that are impossible to find navigating through the operator menu but do exist on Google.
To put it bluntly, Telenor website is a giant mess that requires a good cleanup. The menu for existing and new customers are totally redundant, plus it is nearly impossible to find the new offers. This does not look to be a priority for the Norwegian operator which is driving its digital campaigns through the social networks.
A limited Offer
Coming back to the video packages, key to success is a wide variety of contents coming from strong partnerships with OTT players.
Unfortunately, as of today only Youtube and Pyone Play are included in Telenor mobile video packages which sounds really limited.
UPDATED April 2018: iflix and Tencent Music Service Joox are now included in Telenor Music & Video Packs.
Youtube is certainly the biggest video streaming site in Myanmar but the average user session is 40mn vs 90mn on Netflix or 105mn on Iflix. It is still uncertain whether the customers will see the interest of activating a specific data pack to stream “unlimited” data on Youtube.
As for Pyone Play, it makes more sense. Forever Group streaming app is a success with more than 100K download on the Play Store. With live streaming and an impressive collection of videos on demand, customers will be interested to pay a fix fee to stream as they like.
Competitive price-point, questionable customer category
Price-wise, the daily and monthly packages are charged 1Ks per MB which sounds cost-effective. For the same pricepoint of 2,999Ks, Telenor usually offers 1GB (Data Parcel S). With the new video plan, the customer gets 3 times more data for the same price.
To reach the same price point per MB on an all-inclusive mobile internet plan, the customer needs to go for the 50GB pack at 49,999Ks per month. It is certainly not the same budget. But streaming users are usually the highest data users and will probably eye for the bigger plans if they can afford it.
Would 3GB/Month quench the thirst of streaming users?
The conclusion is that the offer targets a customer category with small budget and a craving need for video streaming. The question resides whether this niche is big enough to justify a specific Internet plan.
In summary, this is a good start for Telenor video packs but we make reservation about the revenue generated at this stage. First, because the customer segment looks very narrow. Second, because of the limited number of OTTs included in the package.
Considering iflix just launched in Myanmar, it would have been an excellent idea to include the Asian streaming service in the video plan and leverage on their marketing campaign. Timing is key when it comes to marketing and Telenor may have missed this one.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.