This is the fastest growth of subscribers Viettel has seen in any market around the world, including Vietnam, and is an achievement few telecom companies can match in the context of the slowdown in the global telecom industry.
The Vietnamese market has in the past held world records for the fastest growth, but it still took Viettel one year to reach two million subscribers in the country. Recently, the company to reach two million subscribers in the fastest time was Halotel, Viettel’s Tanzanian operation, which took nine months.
According to Nguyen Thanh Nam, Mytel’s general director, reaching two million subscribers is considered a milestone for Mytel, creating a large enough customer community to contribute to improving overall business results.
“Having a large customer base will enable Mytel to carry out promotion campaigns to attract new clients,” he said.
Before starting operations, Viettel had set itself a goal of signing up two to three million customers in 2018.
However, within one month of starting operations (Mytel began operations on June 9), Mytel signed up two million subscribers and growth has remained rapid since then. 4G subscribers account for 70 per cent of customers.
The reason for the success is that Myanmarese are excited to have a new mobile phone network that is good quality and offers a wide range of 4G services, cheap rates, plenty of attractive promotion campaigns, and numerous different services.
In Myanmar, Mytel is the only mobile network to provide 4G services nationwide with 30,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable, which make up 50 per cent of the country’s total cable infrastructure. Mytel has set up a nationwide distribution system with 50 stores and 50,000 sales agents, 70 per cent of which are in rural and remote areas.
Mytel charges in 1-second blocks instead of 15- or 20-second blocks like its competitors.
Along with its huge infrastructure and distribution system and ideal products, careful market research into the Myanmarese mindset and habits was another factor that has helped Mytel grow rapidly.
One of its most effective promotion campaigns, based on diligent market research, has been “Shaking the Amazing”. It is a new and totally different technological experience in Myanmar. Customers install the self-care app and shake their mobile phones to receive bonuses on their Mytel smartphones, English scholarships, millions of GB of data, calling minutes and SMSs.
The promotion campaign has created a “youth movement” that has never occurred before in Myanmar with 600,000 – 700,000 young people joining the campaign and giving their phones 6 – 7 million shakes per day.
Viettel Group reported profits in eight of its 10 overseas markets including Peru, Cambodia, Laos, Haiti, Burundi, East Timor, Mozambique and Cameroon in the first half of the year.
In the three countries of Laos, Cambodia and East Timor, Viettel’s investment has been returned and the company has taken the leading position in their telecommunications network markets. The markets brought revenue worth four to five times the investment value.
Viettel’s two overseas markets, Tanzania and Myanmar, have been in the planned loss period as the group has operated for two years in Tanzania and over a month in Myanmar. However, both markets saw high growth.
Of Viettel’s 10 international markets, Myanmar is the biggest in terms of population and is expected to grow at the fastest rate in 2018. The growth of the Myanmar market will be an important factor in Viettel Group’s international business growth this year.
Under a new plan, Mytel targets four million subscribers by the end of 2018 and to break even by the end of 2019.
Mytel is the brand name of Telecom International Myanmar – a joint venture between Viettel Global, a Viettel subsidiary, and its two partners in Myanmar, Star High Public Company and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public (MNTH).
Mytel has the total investment capital of $1.5 billion, accounting for up to 66 per cent of Vietnamese-registered capital into Myanmar.
With the project, Vietnam jumped from the 10th position to 7th among 49 countries and territories investing in Myanmar, and is the second largest ASEAN investor in the country (by the end of June 2017).
Mytel is the 4th mobile phone network in Myanmar, along with State-owned MPT, which has a 42 per cent share of the market, Telenor (Norway), which has 35 per cent, and Ooredoo (Qatar), with 23 per cent.
Myanmar has been Viettel’s foreign market with the highest economic growth rate, at 7 per cent so far and its largest in terms of population (53 million). It also has high growth in the telecommunications and IT sector.
From having the lowest mobile phone usage rate in the world (higher only than North Korea), Myanmar has experienced astonishing mobile phone SIM usage per capita growth from 10 per cent to 90 per cent after only three years of opening its economy.
The total number of data subscribers has risen from 600,000 to over 16 million and 70 per cent of the population use smartphones.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Myanmar could increase its economy’s scale four-fold to $200 billion by 2030.
The IMF also said the finance, banking, energy, telecommunications, and IT sectors offer the most opportunities for foreign investors in terms of both market potential and human resources.