Myanmar’s two newest telcos ready to roll out 4G
16 February 2018 | Natalie Bannerman
MyTel and Amara Communications, the newest entrants to the Myanmar telecoms market, have announced their plans for the deployment of 4G.
MyTel, the fourth mobile operator, recently announced that its 4G network is ready to launch during a ceremony at which the operator completed the first calls on the system, between government officials in Vietnam and the capital city Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The company is building out a 4G-only network and aims to service 90% of the country’s populations when the system goes live in Q1 of 2018.
MyTel is a joint venture between the Ministry of Defence owned Viettel which holds a 49% stake, Star High Public Company – a subsidiary of Myanmar military-backed Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) – which owns 28% and a consortium of eleven Myanmar companies. The operator won its 900MHz/2100MHz operating licence in January 2017 is aiming to deploy 7,200 base stations, supported by 33,000km of fibre-optic cabling, to provide its targeted 90% population coverage.
Amara Communications has also begun advertising its 4G+ data service under its Ananda Infinity brand, in anticipation for its full commercial launch by the end of Q1 2018. The operator acquired its 4G spectrum in 2016 after it made the decision to transition into a wireless broadband service provider and paid approximately $120 million for 2.6GHz spectrum licences in two regions. Amara Communications has begun pre-registration for customers interested in 4G.
According to GSMA Intelligence, at present, state-owned MPT holds a 48% market share at end-2017, followed by Telenor Myanmar with 37% and Ooredoo Myanmar with 14% in the Myanmar market which has a subscriber base of roughly 50 million. In addition, new players are expected to enter the market. In October, Global Technology Group, an ISP in Myanmar, announced that it would launch LTE wireless broadband service for home and business users in 30 cities in April 2018. It also won 2.6GHz spectrum in one region in an October 2016 auction.