Intelsat expands partnership with Myanmar
01 June 2018 | James Pearce
Intelsat has struck a partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) of Myanmar to deploy wireless communications infrastructure in the Asian country.
The MOTC will utilise services on the Intelsat 39 satellite as part of a new multi-year, multi-transponder agreement through Myanmarsat-2.
The deal will see Intelsat 39, which is due to replace Intelsat 902’s eastern position in 2019, provide both Ku-band and C-band satellite services which Myanmar will use to boost its existing mobile network. It will also be used to provide services for mobile operators and media companies.
The MOTC has set a target of ensuring 95% of the Myanmar population have access to broadband connectivity by 2022, with the services offered by Intelsat likely to be used to expand both 3G and 4G services into more remote areas of the country.
U Chit Wai, permanent secretary of Ministry of Transport and Communications Union Minister’s Office, MOTC, said: “By expanding our relationship with Intelsat, the power and efficiencies generated by Intelsat’s Globalized Network fortifies our network infrastructure, expands broadband connectivity outside of Myanmar’s urban centres and enhances the educational, health, media and government services provided to the people of Myanmar.
“Our partnership with Intelsat ensures that businesses will have access to fast, sustainable, high-quality broadband connectivity to support expansion of the media, energy and banking sectors and spur further economic development across the country.”
The liberalisation of the telecoms in Myanmar began in 2013 when the government opened up the country to international entrants, ending the monopoly of the Myanmar Post and Telecommunication. This led to the launch of new operators including Ooredoo and Telenor and saw mobile penetration rise from less than 10% in 2012 to over 54% in 2015.
Intelsat began offering services in the country in 2016 after striking a deal with MOTC for services on two satellites. The expansion of the relationship between Intelsat and the Myanmar government will also help the latter ensure more of the country have access to e-government services such as healthcare and education.
“To build a more digitally inclusive society, we need a fresh approach to solving broadband connectivity challenges,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “This requires greater cooperation between the public and private sectors and a hybrid network that seamlessly integrates and leverages the strengths of different technologies to extend the communications infrastructure beyond city centres.
“That is why we are excited to build upon our relationship with the MOTC. By integrating Intelsat’s next-generation solutions into existing networks, together, we can build a robust and resilient communications infrastructure that reaches everyone and further enhances the lives of the people of Myanmar.”