Thursday, September 21, 2017

MPT undercuts rivals with cost reduction

MPT today lowers its calling charge to K23 a minute for its Swe Thahar and CDMA users, the latest competitive move as the three telcos jostle for customers.

MPT today lowers its calling charge to K23 a minute for its Swe Thahar and CDMA users, the latest competitive move as the three telcos jostle for customers.MPT today lowers its calling charge to K23 a minute for its Swe Thahar and CDMA users, the latest competitive move as the three telcos jostle for customers.

The state-owned telco had formerly maintained the highest per-minute prices after the launch of Telenor and Ooredoo. Although the providers offer different packages, Telenor and Ooredoo both charge K25 a minute for base tariffs, while MPT had charged K35 a minute for users of its Swe Thahar plan.

MPT, which has a joint operations agreement with KDDI and Sumitomo from Japan, held a monopoly on the market until last year.

Takashi Nagashima, CEO of MPT-KDDI-Sumitomo Joint Operations, said in a press release that the telco hopes the move to lower prices will attract more individual customers and businesses, pointing to the size of the national network.

By most estimates, MPT also has the most subscribers in Myanmar of the three telcos.

U Thein Hote, general manager of MPT’s Business Department, previously told The Myanmar Times that there were plans afoot to lower costs partly to ensure the brand is successful in rural areas.

The firm has also extended the package to CDMA users. Not all MPT plans had previously included users of the technology, and users told The Myanmar Times they were glad the program had been extended to them.

“In some rural areas the GSM network isn’t strong, so customers use CDMA,” said U Myo Myo Aung, a mobile phone repairer. “So I think MPT has also had them in mind by lowering costs.”

All three telcos are now working to extend their coverage, and have inked tower-building agreements. There are also plans for a fourth operator licence to eventually be awarded.