Telenor and Norwegian software company Opera said the firms have formed a partnership to bring more cost effective mobile internet services in Myanmar.
Telenor Myanmar customers will now be able to access faster internet from their mobile devices via the Opera Mini browser where they can access the local content, free Wikipedia and Facebook Zero, the telecoms firm said.
Opera Mini’s technology claims to make the mobile internet affordable by optimising and compressing web pages by as much as 90 percent in their own servers before sending them to the users’ mobile devices, allowing them to browse more for the same money.
Telenor’s data costs are currently K6 per megabyte for 300kbps speed and K10 for 2mbps.
Telenor subscribers can now download the browser for free from both m.opera.com and Telenor’s mobile portal.
The move is also expected to reduce network load for the firm as both the foreign telcos in Myanmar face bandwidth saturation during peak hours and find it hard to build enough towers quickly to accommodate the rising number of customers.
“Opera works with Telenor around the world to provide faster and better internet access for all and to simplify the way people get access to the web,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.
Launched in 2006, Opera Mini is today used by over 250 million people worldwide. Opera Mini is available on almost any mobile phone platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, Java ME, iOS, Symbian OS and Windows Mobile, among others.
The partnership also enables people who download Telenor’s version of the Opera Mini browser on their phones to access relevant local content and offers via Opera Mini’s shortcut screen, the Speed Dial.
While subscribers of other mobile networks like Ooredoo and MPT can use Opera Mini’s compression technology, they may not be able to access Facebook Zero and Wikipedia Zero for free.
For Myanmar, Opera has updated and optimised its support for the special Myanmar fonts – both in Unicode and Zawgyi – for greater data savings. Initial tests done by Opera and Telenor exhibit an average of two times faster page loads, and around 80 percent data savings while browsing popular sites.
“Together, we provide a high-quality mobile internet experience, which the people of Myanmar can now afford on their own terms,” Boilesen said.
Telenor launched its network in Myanmar on September 27 and its services are now available in the three main cities, Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, through more than 13,000 outlets.
“It is important for us to provide a high quality and affordable mobile internet experience to our customers in Myanmar,” said Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.