Myanmar has begun the liberalization of its Telecommunication market in 2013.
See also: Telephone numbers in Burma
Previously, Myanma Post and Telecommunication (MPT) had a monopoly in the country. In 2013, the government started taking steps to open up the telecommunications market, issuing licenses to new service providers. Consulting firm Roland Berger supported the government in the liberalization and tendering process. In 2014, Qatar-based Ooredoo and Norwegian Telenor throughout their local subsidiaries - respectively Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar - entered the market, resulting in the reduction of consumer prices and rapid growth in the number of subscribers, as well as the expansion of the country's infrastructure. In November 2015, Ericsson named Myanmar the world's fourth fastest-growing mobile market. As of June 2015, Myanmar has a mobile phone penetration rate of 54.6%, up from less than 10% in 2012. On 12 January 2017, Mytel (Telecom International Myanmar Co., Ltd.) received License for the provision of telecommunication services, officially became the 4th operator in Myanmar.
General assessment: meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government Domestic: system barely capable of providing basic service; cellular phone system is grossly underdeveloped with a subscribership base of less than 1 per 100 persons[needs update] International: country code - 95; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE 3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and ShinSat (2007)
Bids have been offered for two fresh telecom licenses by the Myanmar government. The deadline was set to be 8 February 2013. The licenses were expected to be issued in June and carry a contract duration of up to 20 years. Two more licenses were expected to be offered following this round of bidding.
According to government statistics, 5.4 million of Myanmar's 60 million population had a mobile phone subscription at the end of 2012, giving the country a mobile penetration of 9 per cent.
According to official figures released in mid-2012, Myanmar had 857 base transceiver stations (BTS) for 1,654,667 local GSM mobile users, 188 BTSs for 225,617 local WCDMA mobile users, 366 BTSs for 633,569 local CDMA-450 mobile users, and 193 BTSs for 341,687 CDMA-800 mobile users. Huawei who has built 40 percent of the towers and ZTE has built 60 percent in Myanmar, which amounts to 1500 across the country, said it has built the towers mostly in Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw.
The Myanmar Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee selected Norwegian Telenor Group and Ooredoo of Qatar as winners of the bidding, for the two telecom licenses issued by the government of Myanmar. The licenses allow the operators to build and operate a nationwide wireless network for 15 years. Ooredoo began selling low-price SIM cards at a price of US$1.5 in Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw in August 2014. Prior to 2012, during military rule, SIM cards cost USD 1,500.
Mytel is the fourth telecom firm in Myanmar. It is a joint venture between Myanmar Army-backed Star High Public Co Ltd, which holds 48 percent, Vietnam's Ministry of Defence owned Viettel Group, which holds 28 percent, and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Ltd, a group of 11 local companies with a combined 23-percent stake. Commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing stated at the opening ceremony of Mytel on 11 February 2018 that it will cover 93 percent of the 2G networks and 60 percent of the 4G networks of Myanmar after installing towers and stations across the country.
Further information: Media of Burma
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2015)
Television broadcast stations: 6 (2015)
Broadcasts 7 Free Digital Channel available in Naypyidaw, Yangon & Mandalay.
Providing Free to air Channels, Local & International Pay TV Channels, and High Definition Channels. 4TV Has Only Broadcasts 2 Way With DTH and DVB-T2 In Myanmar.
Main article: Internet in Burma
The government now allows unrestricted access to the Internet. Many people are using the internet freely, often with widely available smart phones.
Myanmar Teleport (formerly Bagan Cybertech), Information Technology Central Services (ITCS), and the state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) are two of the Internet service providers in Myanmar. Internet cafés are common in the larger cities of the country. Satellite (VSAT) internet connection is also available from Skynet, a satellite television provider, and another (VSAT) Operator Com & Com.
According to MPT's official statistics as of July 2010, the country had over 400,000 Internet users (0.8% of the population) with the vast majority of the users located in the two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay. More recent figures are hard to find, but the widespread use of smart phones and tablets with cellular modems on the 3G and 4G networks means that internet usage is likely to be far higher than the figures from 2010 indicate.
Although the internet remains unrestricted, Myanmar experience internet shut downs during politically sensitive times. In 2007, the military government shutdown the internet during the Saffron Revolution for a few days to restrict information from within the country to be disseminated to international media. In 2019 June to February 2020, a few townships from Rakkhine and Chin State are facing internet shut downs as ordered by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
On 3 February 2021, 3G and 4G data network was restored in Rakhine and Chin States.
Starting from dawn of 1 February 2021, there're re-restrictions and outage to access to the internet by the Military Government because of 2021 Myanmar coup d'état. The government banned and blocked social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, western news agency websites and also Wikipedia.
Starting from 16 February 2021, the internet was shut down from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. in nationwide.
On 22 February 2021, the internet was shut down only in Yangon from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. while other states and regions were only from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m.
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