MPT applies more pressure on Ooredoo with SIM card launch

Ooredoo is facing less demand for its SIM cards after Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) started to sell its own 1,500-kyat SIM cards on September 1.

MPT’s launch has added to the criticism already faced by Ooredoo over its services. It had been assumed that Ooredoo’s call rate was cheap for in-Net calls because it fixed the cost at Ks25 per minute. But it was fixed at Ks35 for off-Net calls – and, while the latter rate is based on minutes, users are in reality paying more than they expected.

“When I use the MPT SIM card, I spend only Ks1,000 to Ks2,000 daily, but with Ooredoo’s, I have to spend Ks5,000 to Ks6,000 daily. If I call for one minute and one second, they charge me Ks70 as it is over one minute,” said Nyein Chan, a businessman from Yangon. Users have criticised Ooredoo’s pricing, as most people talk for only one or two minutes over mobile phones, and the call rates fixed by Ooredoo result in them paying more.

Ooredoo reduced its Internet rate to Ks10 for 1MB of usage starting from August 31, but no changes were made to the company’s package plans.

One month’s Internet usage for regular surfers is around 1GB to 2GB here, which should mean a cost of around Ks5,000 to Ks10,000 monthly for both voice calls and Internet. But with Ooredoo’s SIM cards, users have to spend Ks 12,000 for Internet usage alone.

At present, Ooredoo and MPT are competing for market share and users will choose the services which give them the greatest convenience, but Telenor will join the competition soon, analysts said.


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