Telenor has made a move to offer zero-rated services to its customers in Myanmar through Wikipedia Zero and Facebook Zero. This will enable Telenor’s mobile users to get access to lighter versions of Wikipedia and Facebook without running down their prepaid credit balances. We have seen this issue (the running down of prepaid balances ) being a barrier to Internet use by BOP mobile users before, in other parts of Asia through our Teleuse@BOP research, and have highlighted the need for “Innovations in pricing strategies (akin to “sachet pricing”) … to enable prepaid users to make use of the [Internet] services without their prepaid balance being depleted through a single transaction” (see full paper: Are the Poor Stuck in Voice? Conditions for Adoption of More-than-Voice Mobile Services)
This is one of many key issues we hope to explore in our upcoming national survey of ICT needs and uses in Myanmar. It will be interesting to see if and how zero-rated services will allow BOP mobile owners in Myanmar to overcome some of the cost hurdles in Internet use.