“We’re there for you, and for Myanmar”
A message to customers and partners from Telenor Myanmar CEO Jon Omund Revhaug
Mingalarpar and Happy New Year! Bouncing back to the daily grind after Thingyan holidays is certainly different this year. I still hope that you have been able to spend time with your loved ones and taken some time to recharge.
While eagerly awaiting the opportunity to travel to Myanmar, I have spent the last couple of weeks in my home office in Singapore. Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, all of us are experiencing dramatic shifts in our daily lives and unfortunately many are facing severe challenges to jobs and livelihoods.
At Telenor, both in Myanmar and in the eight other market we operate, we are mindful about the critical role connectivity plays as people are now distancing themselves from each other, staying home and adhering to strict movement rules.
For those able to work from home, life has relocated: we both live and work at home, have our children play and learn there, run home school, home kindergarten and home workout sessions. It comes with its own set of challenges, but we’re the fortunate ones: we life can continue more or less as normal using digital tools. We see it clearly in our data traffic and on the load on our networks.
In connectivity we trust
In Myanmar alone, data traffic is 27% above the seasonal normal, and some of the most popular videoconferencing solutions have seen from 2x to 20x growth just during the month of March. Substituting the celebrations of the water festival with staying at home also impacts our leisure habits; data traffic to streaming services are 40% higher this Thingyan compared to last, according to our data.
The spikes in volume and shifts in traffic patterns show just how critical telecommunications is — and we see it across markets. In an emerging market like Myanmar, managing this situation requires tremendous effort from thousands of people working in sales, distribution and network operations. Our teams in the field have had to find new ways to manage and maintain throughout the country, dealing in innovative ways with local restrictions and responses to the virus situation.
We’re in it together
We do not know how severe it will be or how long it will last. Helping the people of Myanmar and society at large through this, by contributing with what we can, is our priority right now. We believe we can do so by keeping all of you safe, connected and empowered, and these are some of the ways we do it:
Staying safe — ensuring employees, partners and customers are protected
- In addition to keeping our staff and partners safe through aggressive hygiene measures, we’re donating essential hygiene, sanitation and medical supplies to quarantine centers
- Distributing 25,000 SIM cards loaded with 1GB each to quarantine centres/staff
- Zero-rated (free/unlimited) access to Ministry of Health and Sports’ website and offering free download of the official COVID-19 mobile app
Stay connected — keeping our core operations running and extending connectivity to more
- Remaining dedicated to maintain and improve connectivity during this critical time
- Providing MMK 1 billion worth of rewards through the Pyor Pee Yin Pyor campaign and introducing various data bonus programs to help customers enjoy more data
- Offering free transfer of balance between users so friends and family can help each other stay connected
Stay empowered — ensuring everyone remains equipped to handle the impact of COVID-19
- Supporting Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement with SIM cards for setting up toll-free hotlines to support quarantined citizens coping with the strain of the situation
- We run an SMS donation facility enabling the public to donate directly to the Government’s COVID-19 relief fund, and will be matching contributions up to a total of USD 75,000
Since launching operations in Myanmar in September 2014, Telenor Myanmar has been committed to being there for our customers and for Myanmar. It is by connecting you to what matters most we help empower societies.
You can count on us to continue doing so, and we will come through this, together. #StaySafeMyanmar
Jon Omund Revhaug is the CEO of Telenor Myanmar. He has been with Telenor for 20 years and was until recently CEO at Telenor’s global Procurement Company, based in Singapore. The 53-year-old Norwegian took the helm at Telenor Myanmar on 1 April 2020.