Qatar-backed cellco Ooredoo Myanmar has launched trials of its mobile network, in preparation for a full commercial launch on 15 August. Ooredoo has offered subscribers access to wireless voice and data services free of charge for the two-week trial period. In order to use the service, customers must have an Ooredoo SIM and a compatible handset. At present coverage is limited to the Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon areas although the cellco is hoping to extend trials to Pyay, Magway and Meiktila. At launch, the service will be available in 68 cities and pre-paid plans will offer on-/off-net calls at MMK25/MMK35 (USD0.025/USD0.035) per minute with SMS charged at MMK25 and data priced at MMK25 per MB. Ooredoo will publish more details of its planned tariffs on 14 August, the operator said in a statement.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Ooredoo is one of the two foreign operators – the other being Telenor – handed licences earlier this year to provide telecoms services in Myanmar, which with cellular penetration of less than 10% at the end of 2013, is one of the largest untapped markets in the world.