There is a certain arrogance in coverage of developing countries by Western reporters. They assumed that Ooredoo, managed by Westerners, and Telenor in particular would simply walk over MPT. That was the case in places like Bangladesh where the government did not act to reform the incumbent. But MPT is managed by KDD. They also did not take into account the advantage of having land. What customers want is the ability to make call and connect to the Internet. Without land, the new entrants cannot locate their BTSs in the right locations at the right time. Result: frustrated customers, some who bought the now cheaper MPT SIMs.
When Myanmar’s first foreign telecommunications companies, Qatar’s Ooredoo and Norway’s Telenor, arrived last year, customers lined up for blocks to buy their inexpensive services, exhausting the supply of SIM cards within weeks and cheering their executives.
Six months later, state-owned Myanmar Posts & Telecommunications, which had for decades monopolized the market despite its generally outdated services, has added more new customers than its challengers combined.