Incumbent telcos see competition as an unmitigated evil. But what happens is that competition energizes the market and creates new demand. If the incumbent is decently managed, it can catch some (and possibly most) of this demand. After all, it is the known brand. And competitors have their own problems in the start-up phase. Looks like Myanmar is demonstrating these truths all over again.
“Our top priority is to make service more accessible and more affordable for more people in Myanmar. That is why we introduced new SIM cards for Ks 1,500 [about US$1.5]. We have distributed thousands of SIMs this year. We are pushing for more than 5 million SIM cards into the market by the end of the year so that people will get them more easily at the right price,” said Khin Maung Tun. The executive declined, however, to say how many Ks 1,500 SIM cards had been sold so far, or provide details of the new incentives and services it planned to introduce, saying this was confidential.
Despite the increasing sales of SIMs, MPT is currently struggling to meet market demand as some mobile shops are selling MPT SIMs for Ks 10,000 or more. Khin Maung Tun said MPT was trying to solve the problem as soon as possible, and urged people not to buy SIM cards on the black market.
“We will be providing sufficient amounts to stop the black market trade. We know the demand perfectly well. Yet, we need to take QoS [quality of service] into serious consideration before we sell our SIM cards,” Khin Maung Tun told Myanmar Eleven on the sidelines of the conference.