Myanmar primed for devices boom

Asia Cloud Forum editors
30 Sep 2013

Myanmar's devices market is on target to take centre stage as the award of telecommunications licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo will cause prices of SIMs and service provision to dip towards levels even low-wage earners are able to afford, according to IDC.

The research firm said in a new report it expects this to drive a considerable uptake in demand for both mobile phones and tablets.

“The Myanmar government has set highly ambitious targets for mobile subscriber penetration over the next two years,” says Daniel Pang, ASEAN research manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “At this point, they are on the right track, but there is still much work left to be done.”

Pang believes that based on the current state of telecom infrastructure and the plans of the new operators, the impact on mobile phone shipments will only be felt some time next year.

“While SIM cards are being issued at a hectic pace, much of the country still suffers from poor network coverage, and thus, they continue to be put up for sale in the black market instead of into new mobile phones,” he adds. “Therefore, vendors will likely boost shipment quantities only in 2Q14 or 3Q14 once the telecom infrastructure improves and more SIMs are available to consumers.

“The tablet market, however, does not face any barrier to growth. More WiFi hotspots are being developed to improve access to Internet for tablet users. Furthermore, prices for tablets dipped significantly at the end of 2012 and are continuing to fall, which will drive much higher demand across 2013 and beyond.”

As Myanmar's economy experiences the benefits associated with the government reforms, IDC expects the PC market to expand in 2013. The costs of internet subscriptions are expected to decline gradually, particularly for equipment and administrative fees.

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