MYTEL, which this year became the fourth telecommunications operator to enter the fast-growing Myanmar market, plans to have its services cover more than 95 per cent of the country’s population in three years, a company executive said.
Zaw Min Oo, chief external relations officer at Mytel, said the firm would provide Myanmar’s first all-4G network, bringing the fastest mobile Internet access at affordable rates to enable local people to connect with each other and to the rest of the world.
“Telecommunications in Myanmar is a vital service. We want to fill the gap that this market is hungry for,” he said.
He pledged to provide the best data services in Myanmar through the firm’s nationwide network coverage.
“As the most modern operator in Myanmar, we use top-of-the-line fibre technology to provide customers high speed Internet and better signal strength, which ultimately brings the best network experience,” he said.
MyTel was first introduced at the First Call event in Nay Pyi Taw on February 11. Since March 15, the firm has provided its services in Nay Pyi Taw, Bago region and Kayin State. It plans to provide better services in the major cities in the second quarter of this year.
The telco’s fiber network will help increase Myanmar’s network density to up to 1,500 kilometres per million people. It is a pioneer in the use of the latest technology, known as VOLTE, to ensure a high definition voice and data experience at the same time.
“By exploiting the most innovative technology, we plan to provide premium-quality services that will satisfy the needs of consumers,” Zaw Min Oo said.
He said the firm has plans to build a link between education and the Internet. He said the firm’s corporate social responsibility programmes would focus on digitalisation of Myanmar’s education infrastructure.
“By providing solid platforms to improve youth education, our younger generation will be exposed to advanced knowledge in technology and innovation to move up to the global level,” he said.
Established in 2016, Telecom International Myanmar Co, with the brand name MyTel, is a consortium of Vietnam’s military-run Viettel Group and two Myanmar companies - Star High Public Co and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Limited (MNTH).
Viettel Group holds the majority of the shares, accounting for 49 per cent. Star High, a subsidiary of Tatmadaw-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd, owns 28 per cent of the shares while MNTH holds the remaining 23 per cent.
The firm’s total investment is expected to reach US$2 billion. Once operational, Mytel will have 7,000 sites with 30,000 kilometres of cables. Viettel Group operates in 11 countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, East Timor, Haiti, Peru, Mozambique, Cameroon, Burundi, and Tanzania. Myanmar is the ninth foreign market for Viettel.
Le Dang Dung, deputy general director of Viettel Group, said earlier that Viettel aims to deliver robust ICT offerings that empower Myanmar to grow further as Asia’s next large technology-led economy.
“We enter Myanmar at this historic phase in the country’s reform era, when the country is forecast to witness accelerated economic growth, enhanced also through increased foreign direct investment. Advancing the country’s telecom infrastructure will help us drive a surge in mobile and smartphone subscription penetration,” Dung said.
Dung said telecommunications would play a fundamental role in driving Myanmar’s next phase of economic growth. He believes Viettel’s experience in transforming Vietnam’s telecommunications landscape would drive the firm to cater to the untapped telecom market potential in Myanmar.
The impact of MyTel’s entry to the market would be widely discussed in the Myanmar Connect 2018 to be held in September. It is an annual event for Myanmar’s telecoms industry that has been running since 2013. Previously held in Nay Pyi Taw, the event is moving to Yangon this year.
At the event, industry players will discuss how existing mobile operators and Internet service providers are likely to react to MyTel’s entry. Discussions will also feature other newcomers such as Amara Communications and the launch of the Myanmar Internet Exchange, as well as metro connectivity and fibre-to-the-home services.