Myanmar is one of the last Asian countries to have underdeveloped telecom sector. But, the sector has seen immense growth in the last five years and will further see a positive growth as per the experts. Myanmar (Burma)-Telecoms, Mobile And Broadband-Statistics And Analyses, a report published by Ken Research discusses the same. It contains the insights about the telecom sector in Myanmar and what factors are affecting the current market, based on the statistics. It gives an idea about the current market scenario, developments by the current players and competition, that can help to decide for investments and business ventures.
With a population of more than 53 million belonging to varied cultural ethnicities, Myanmar is the second largest country in South-East Asia. Decades of military rule led to the imposition of many global sanctions in the nation until 2011, when finally the military receded. A result of the decade’s long adversity is that Myanmar remained one of the poorest and underdeveloped countries of the south-east region. More than half of the country’s population is rural. After 2011, many reforms have been brought in various sectors, and the economy has picked up. Other countries have eased the sanctions, and finally, the country started connecting to the rest of the world. The economy of Myanmar is largely supported by its natural resources and commodities. Sectors like oil and gas, timber, mining, etc. remain the most productive ones. Most of the FDI in the country has been directed to sectors of manufacturing, oil and gas and telecom.
The government opened the telecommunication market for foreign players in 2014, and that marked the start of the competition that increased in the market. Since then, 4 players have entered, that now compete against each other and the state-owned telco. While the market is progressing well in mobile broadband services, there is a low penetration when it comes to fixed broadband. The reason is a limited number of fixed lines. The country that had extremely underdeveloped telecom services until the start of the decade, has leapfrogged the evolution stages to directly arrive at fast mobile broadband services. Current availability of fixed lines is very low and operators are unwilling to invest in the fixed broadband infrastructure. However, in 2018, fixed lines service providers have emerged and had plans to expand the fiber installation. Experts believe that the market will show a good growth in the period 2018-2023, but the growth will be slow. The telecom operators will now compete based upon the speeds and data prices, a trend seen in other Asian countries. Also, they face a competition from the existing ISPs.
The increased competition will directly benefit the customers as companies will want to retain the subscribers. Seeing the scope of market development, government, as well as companies, have plans for LTE network expansions. There are plans to increase the fiber connectivity as well. Increasing adoption of smartphones has led to the adoption of high-speed mobile broadband services. The telecommunication sector evolution in Myanmar has helped the country and its native businesses to connect to the rest of the world.
Companies that are mentioned in this report are Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT); Telenor Myanmar; Ooredoo Myanmar; KDDI; Sumitomo; SingTel, Digicel; Qatar Telecom; Viettel Group; Vodafone, Myanmar National Tele & Communications (MNTC).
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications