Myanmar: Getting close to 80

Posted on October 4, 2015  /  0 Comments

I titled a piece I wrote on Myanmar a while back as “10 to 80 in five years.” Now after just one year of operations, Telenor Myanmar, not the largest operator in Myanmar, has over 20 SIMs per 100 people, all by itself. That would place the overall SIMs/100 number above 50. After just one year.

So it may be time we shift our attention to more interesting and challenging things, like getting more people access to Internet. That’s pretty good too, with over half of Telenor’s customers being daily data users.

“[We’re] very proud that we passed 10 million customers in less than a year and that’s significantly above what we expected,” he said. “I am also very positively surprised by the data pickup – the hunger … has been much higher than we assumed.”

With its 2G and 3G technology mix, the telecom differentiated from competitors on its target market: the bottom of the pyramid.

However, with data demand so strong, the company has adjusted its strategy, Mr Furberg said

“Our original strategy before we saw the data uptake was that [3G] would mainly be a city thing,” Mr Furberg said. “We realised data demand was significantly higher … [and have implemented] the strategy gradually from the beginning of this year to deploy 3G on absolutely all our towers.”

More than half of Telenor’s users engage with data, and over two-thirds of customers are on smartphones, according to the company.

“We now have 100 percent towers on 2G and 3G, and as of now we have the biggest 3G network of any operator in the country, measured in terms of number of base stations and 3G.”


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