Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has more than doubled its user base since the company teamed with Japanese partners KDDI Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation in July 2014, KDDI announced in its financial results for the April to June 2015 quarter.
The state-owned operator, which prior to 2014 had a corner on the telecoms market as its only player, currently leads Myanmar’s three-horse race for users with more than 14 million customers at the end of July. Telenor reported more than 10 million users in July and Ooredoo, 4.3 million at the end of June.
The firm targets 70 percent area coverage this fiscal year.
“To underpin the rapid expansion of the users, we are working to reinforce our network,” said KDDI President Takashi Tanaka at the company’s August 7 presentation.
The corporation’s global services segment, which includes its Myanmar business, saw operating revenue swell 11pc year on year – an increase attributed in part to its Myanmar operations. Operating revenue for the quarter came to 76.8 billion yen (US$614.3 million). Meanwhile, operating income spiked 215.5pc to 11.3 billion yen ($90.4 million), the Q2 report said.
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.