I can recall the astronomical ARPUs in Afghanistan (over USD 80/month) when that market was opened up. Then, after normal Afghans who were not earning expat salaries started using the service, the ARPUs came down to more normal levels. There are plenty of expats roaming the streets of Yangon, but they have no discernible impact in the fast-expanding networks of this country of 50 million plus. But the ARPUs are high. We can confirm this from the sample survey we conducted in Feb-Mar 2015. The trick to keeping the numbers up is to ride on the data demands of smartphone equipped Myanmarese. Looks like KDDI-managed MPT is on the ball.
Though KDDI did not disclose average revenue per user figures for MPT customers, global business sector general manager Hidehiko Tajima said the company was on par with other firms in the market. Telenor had reported ARPU at $5.7 for the second quarter and Ooredoo at $6.5 on average for the first half of 2015.
Mr Tajima also said that its ARPU figures were high in contrast to those of neighbouring countries, but said the revenue generated would not remain flat. From August 10, new MPT SIMs started coming standard with the company’s Swe Thahar plan, which charges K23 per minute for calls, K15 per text and K7 per MB of internet data. The plan, which now counts more than 7.2 million users, had previously been opt-in. Users can still opt out if they so choose by texting “UNSUB SWE” or “POSTUNSUB SWE” to 1332. Transferring to MPT’s old plan won’t cost users K10,000 in the future.
“Now, MPT’s Swe Thahar plan is cheap for mobile users. I can watch YouTube videos on the Swe Thahar internet connection, and I registered for the plan because I make many phone calls a day,” said Swe Thahar user U Min Oo.