Competition among telecom players in Burma is heating up as two foreign players launched 4G services to match the increasing data demand in the developing country, reports The Nation.
Telenor Myanmar launched a 4G service in Nay Pyi Taw two months after Ooredoo Myanmar launched their 4G service in the capital city along with Yangon and Madalay.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2016, only 5% of mobile subscriptions in Southeast Asia were 4G, but the figure is set to increase to more than 40% by 2021.
There is now an increasing demand for faster networks in the country, with plans to introduce other 4G services with high voice definition in the future.
“To provide high speed 4G services all over the country, Telenor will need more spectrum. Telenor is looking forward to participating in the spectrum auctions planned by the Union Government later this year. Due to explosive growth of data and increasing data demand by the Myanmar people we believe it is urgently required to expand our services to 4G all over Myanmar.” Petter Furberg, the outgoing chief executive officer of Telenor Myanmar.
Telenor claims to be Myanmar’s largest network with more than 5,700 towers and 16 million customers. Over 60% of its customers are data users.
Its competitor, Ooredoo, states that its penetration rate is at 85%, with a goal to be the best data network in the country. It has extended its fibre optic network to 7,700 km with plans for more expansion by the end of this year. Ooredoo has already invested $1.7 billion to develop 4G in Myanmar.
The company promises to keep 4G price the same as with 3G and customers can enjoy free calls and use Facebook at the price of $0.003 (3 kyats) per megabyte.
As more civilians become tech-savvy, it becomes necessary for broadband networks to be faster in Myanmar. This makes Burma a golden opportunity for more telecom companies, local and foreign, to emerge in the market.
A version of this appeared in The Nation on July 11. Read the full version here.