Taw Win Centre
The boom in mobile phones is echoing in the empty spaces of Yangon’s internet cafes, owners say.“Internet users are decreasing at our internet cafe since MPT [Myanma Posts and Telecommunications] released K1500 SIM cards,” said an official at 8 Mile internet cafe.As a result, he said, most of his patrons are gamers. Those who used to drop in to check email and surf the web are now signing up for mobile internet by SMS and keeping up with the world outside on their phones.
But some people who log on via their smartphones still drop by when their handheld connections prove too slow, said U Khin Maung Oo, owner of Best Solution in Yankin Township.U Aung Win Thu, owner of Cyber Shine in Yankin township, said if the siren call of handphones continues to lure customers away from his internet cafe, he’ll have to take up another business instead. He said the numbers of both internet users and gamers had dropped by half.
Kyaw Myo Htut in Sanchaung township is among those who have turned from cafes to phones.“Once I played games at internet cafés with my friends. Now, I don’t go to the internet cafe because I am using the internet on my mobile phone.”Phone charges aside, he also feels he’s saving money by going online either on his phone or his home PC. “Once if I went to the internet cafe, I lost time and spent more money for food. So I am using the internet at home at present.”As internet access spreads from the hub of the local cafe to the wireless world of homes, restaurants and even on the street, only higher connection speeds offered by cafes continue to lure in customers periodically.
“If I want to chat with my friends, I make an appointment with them at night because the internet connection is best at night,” Kyaw Myo Htut said. “If I have to meet with them urgently, I go to internet cafes.”