Myanmar close to declaring fourth telco

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

The Myanmar government will soon announce the winner of the fourth telecoms operator's license

The Myanmar government is on the brink of announcing the award of a telecoms license to a fourth operator in early 2017, according to a recent statement made by the Directorate of Telecommunications. 

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) has picked Vietnam’s Viettel Co and Star High Public Co, which was nominated by the Ministry of Defence, to become the fourth telecoms operator. Eleven domestic public companies merged to form Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public for the licence. Ooroodee offered services six months after obtaining its licence while it took Telenor eight months.

"It will take about one year to launch the service. Other operators launched their services in Yangon and Mandalay. The coverage was low. A fourth operator will find it difficult to start selling Sim cards that can be used only in Yangon and Mandalay at a time when other operators offer services across the country. It will launch its service only when it can operate nationwide,” said an official from the directorate.

Myanmar’s government is scheduled to allocate 1800MHz spectrum to the nation’s tellcos in March 2017, The Myanmar Times has reported, citing a senior MCIT official. The 4G-compatible frequencies were expected to be distributed before the end of 2016, but are now due to be handed out in the first quarter of 2017.