Shwe Thanlwin launches satellite television service
December 13 - 19, 2010
A NEW competitor has entered Myanmar’s fledgling legal pay-television market, with Shwe Thanlwin Media launching its Skynet “Direct to Home” service earlier this month.
Launched on December 5, Skynet will compete with existing pay-television services offered by Family Entertainment Group and Forever Group.
Unlike its competitors, however, Skynet – which includes about 40 local and international channels broadcast through the Thaicom satellite – is available outside Myanmar’s major cities.
The service can be received in about 200 townships where the company has accredited sales agents, known as regional service providers, Shwe Thanlwin deputy managing director U Moe Zaw said.
“We’ve already permitted more than 50 regional service providers to offer the service … and soon it will be available in more than 300 townships across the country. We sell the package only through the providers; we have no plan to sell directly to customers,” U Moe Zaw said.
Ko Andy Aung, head of Shwe Thanlwin’s marketing department, said customers who sign up for a one-year package in the next three months will get a 50 percent discount.
“The normal cost for a one-year service is in excess of K300,000 but we are reducing this by more than half until the end of February, so it will only cost K140,000,” Ko Andy Aung said.
The package includes a satellite dish, receiver and one-year prepaid card.
“We plan to increase the number of available channels, so we can’t say exactly how much the service will cost after the first year,” he said.
The introduction of a “Multi-Play Service” that would allow Skynet users to also browse the internet, make phone calls and send faxes has been delayed indefinitely.
“We haven’t decided on a price for the [Multi-Play Service] package and we also can’t say exactly when it will be launched,” Ko Andy Aung said.
Shwe Thanlwin is providing Skynet in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Myanma Posts and Telecommunications and Yadanarbon Teleport, the country’s national web portal.
Family Entertainment offers similarly priced packages to new customers, who get a smart card, receiver and three months subscription to eight channels for K50,000. One-year packages are available for K132,000.
An additional 17 international channels are available for K16,000 a month, or K1800 for individual channels.