Infrastructure sharing key for Myanmar telecoms growth

10 September 2013 |


Domestic and international operators at Myanmar Connect 2013 have highlighted the importance of infrastructure sharing in order to meet ambitious targets outlined by the Myanmar government.

Senior representatives from Ooredoo and Telenor, winners of the country’s mobile licences in June, met for the first time today at Capacity’s inaugural event in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

After being officially opened by HE Myat Hein, union minister of Myanmar’s ministry of communications and information technology, the conference shed light on plans from existing local operators and the two international players ahead of the country’s new telecoms law, which is due to be passed in the coming weeks.

The government has laid out plans to increase the country’s teledensity – which presently stands at approximately 10% – to 75%-80 by 2015-2016. The rapid roll out of additional mobile towers and the deployment of a fibre optic backbone are seen as critical to supporting the growth of affordable and available telecoms services to Myanmar’s population of around 60 million

During a press conference at the event, Ooredoo Group’s senior representative Ross Cormack said that it was “no secret that the country hasn’t seen an infrastructure roll-out on this scale before”.

“The regulator has encouraged us to talk together and if we can, pull together. And so we have held discussions with Telenor with regards to doing exactly that,” he said.

Cormack described a strategy of “passive infrastructure sharing” as enabling both companies to reduce costs for themselves and the end customer.

“It means we only use one site rather than two, limiting the impact on the area as well as allowing for a faster roll-out,” he added.

Local players were quick to welcome the entrance of foreign players into the market.

“Allowing two international [companies to enter the market] on full mobile licences and the approval of a new telecoms law shows the progression of the telecoms sector,” said Tin Win, CEO of Myanmar-based Yatanarpon Teleport (YTC).

Capacity's first conference dedicated to Myanmar's telecoms market opens in Nay Pyi Taw today, and runs until September 11.