Telenor Myanmar highlights new services ahead of debut

Telenor Myanmar will offer post-paid services to companies and will send agents directly to their offices to pick up payments at the end of each month, according to an executive from the company.

Ye Than, a marketing executive at Telenor Myanmar detailed the new payment services the company will introduce after it launches its service at a meeting with entrepreneurs in Mandalay on September 10.

Ye Than said its sales agents would pick up payments directly from factories and workshops at the end of each month. “There will be no need to pay bills at other places,” he said, adding that the network operator will accept payments in cash or cheque.

Ease of payment will be one of the services the network will use to differentiate itself from its rivals, the executive suggested.

He said that Telenor Myanmar had opened accounts at Kanbawza Bank and Cooperative Bank for customers to pay their bills, and that they could also pay through mobile or Internet banking.

The company has yet to announce the cost of its SIM cards, the rates it will charge or the date it will launch. However, in an exclusive interview with Eleven Myanmar last month, Telenor Myanmar chief executive Petter Furberg said the services would be launched in major cities, including Yangon and Mandalay, before the end of this month, slightly ahead of the October 5 deadline it committed to in its licence agreement.

He said Telenor would introduce millions of SIM cards to coincide with the launch.

“Our goal is to reach 90 per cent of the population in Myanmar within five years and we will do so by partnering with thousands of local retailers, distributors and franchisees to build an extensive and wide-reaching distribution network that will ensure that the company’s latest products and services are affordable and accessible to customers throughout the country,” he said.

Telenor’s launch will be more than a month behind Qatari-based Ooredoo’s full commercial launch in Myanmar. While Ooredoo has focused on third-generation cellular, Telenor’s SIM cards will work with any GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone on both 2G and 3G networks. This will allow it to expand coverage at a faster pace than Ooredoo. Furberg insisted there would be enough SIM cards to meet demand and their price would remain at the market price established by Ooredoo: Ks 1,500. A voice call should cost no more than Ks 25 per minute, he said.

“An extensive distribution network will be the backbone of our mass-market approach. As part of Telenor Myanmar’s network-roll-out plan, we will recruit distributors and franchisees in each and every state and region in Myanmar with the goal of establishing a network of 100,000 retailers within five years of the network and service roll-out,” he said.


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