Sunday, February 17, 2013

Private players can provide better telecoms service


Sunday, 17 February 2013 15:13 Myo Zaw

The participation of private players in Myanmar’s mobile telecommunications industry will help resolve the inherent difficulties in this business, says Lwin Naing Oo, the managing director of Shwepyitagyun Company, one of the domestic applicants for a license.

“The current difficulties are due to assorted systems being used in this business,” he told Mizzima. “Our company will utilize a single system with international standards. Our system will be stable. If we win the license, we plan to assess step by step all of these systems to determine our next move.”

Apart from the current two domestic operators—Myanmar Post and Telecommunications, and Yadanapon Teleport—a further two licenses are due to be awarded to local Myanmar operators. A decision is due on this allocation within the coming months. It is hoped the expansion of telecommunications contracts will lead to a wider mobile communications network in the country, both in rural and urban areas.

In the rules of tender that will be employed to assess bids for the licenses, it states that these operators must work to provide telecommunications service to 80 percent of the country by 2016.

Red Link Communications vice-chairman Min Swe Hlaing said, “This is the opening of the telecoms industry and it will soon become a more market-oriented business. We will see competition in the marketplace and consumers will have a choice between service providers.”

About 80 companies—both domestic and international—have applied for operator licenses. The winners of the contracts are expected to begin Myanmar operations within six months.

The prospect of mobile phone options was greeted enthusiastically by members of the public who spoke to Mizzima. “It will be better if these new companies give us free SIM cards,” said a taxi driver. “We will be able to choose between the different promotions the companies have. I think it will benefit everyone.”

Currently the telephone density in the country is below 5 percent. It is expected to increase to 80 percent within 3 years.
Related articles:

  1. Race heats up for Burma telecoms licenses
  2. Japanese telecoms firm heads to Rangoon
  3. Telecom growth in Burma poised to take off

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