The first surprise comes from Telenor which has more customers than Ooredoo despite a late start and less money to spend. The second surprise also comes from Telenor, which has apparently made an unexpected profit.
There are now at least 18.1 million SIM cards in active use, according to the operators, not including cards that have been sold but are not used regularly.
MPT told Reuters last week it had 8.4 million customers, while Ooredoo said in its quarterly report on April 29 that it had 3.3 million.
Ooredoo Myanmar CEO Ross Cormack said on Wednesday demand had “met, if not exceeded, our expectations”, adding most customers were using the Internet, with 80 percent of those using smartphones.
Telenor has 6.4 million customers in Myanmar, it said on Wednesday. It launched with 70 towers and has been adding 200 a month. Its network now covers more than half the population, Tor Oddland, a regional vice-president, told Reuters.
Under the terms of their 15-year licence, foreign operators are required to provide voice services across three-quarters of the country within five years and data services across half.