Myanmar mobile subscriptions to reach 32 mn with $1.2 bn revenue in 2019: Ovum

Myanmar mobile subscriptions will grow at 29.3 percent CAGR to 32.3 million, while revenue will reach $1.2 billion in 2019 from $691 million in 2013, said Ovum.

Ooredoo has soft-launched mobile SIM cards at retail shops this week, while the operator is expected to make an official announcement about the launch this weekend.

Ooredoo Myanmar will be offering 3G+ services, which include both voice and mobile broadband, in urban areas around Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, and Yangon.

Ooredoo is likely to price 3G (HSPA+) SIMs at MMK1500 ($1.50). The price committed by its rival Telenor is the same. Ooredoo is expected to charge on-net calls at less than MMK35 per minute, while off-net calls will cost below MMK45 per minute.

Mynamar telecom market forecast by Ovum

Since April 2013, the quasi-civilian government via MPT has stopped selling SIMs in the open market and instead offers 350,000 SIMs per month across the country through a lottery system. The SIM cards are priced at around $1.50 under the lottery, said Ovum.

However, many of these SIM cards end up in the black market and cost anywhere between $80 and $130. As a result, Myanmar’s mobile penetration grew to just 12.3 percent at end-2013, which is still considerably low – given a 60 million strong population.

Ooredoo plans to invest $15 billion in the next 15 years and roll out almost 1,000 3G base stations to cover 30 percent to 40 percent of Myanmar’s population in 2014. In the next five years, Ooredoo aims to offer voice and data services to 97 percent of the population. NSN is the network partner of Ooredoo in Myanmar.

Ovum suggests that Ooredoo will need to begin partnering with more tower companies and backhaul infrastructure providers as it tries to expand network in rural parts of Myanmar. The biggest city has just over five million people and 75 percent of the population lives in rural areas.

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