Telecom Industry in Myanmar to Grow by 15% in 2018-19

Myanmar Telecom Industry to Grow by 15%

The 2018-19 National Planning Bill projects the Myanmar telecom industry to grow by 15 percent in the next fiscal year (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019). This bill was signed on September 21, 2018 by President U Win Myint. 

According to Daw Nyein Chan Thu, Amara Communications Co. Ltd’s public relations and internal communications manager, one reason for this growth is attributed to the importance of having Myanmar telecom services when doing business. Telecom services allow businesses to run their operations efficiently, which makes it no surprise why its market demand continues to increase every year. As such, the rising inflow of foreign direct investments and local investments into the telecom sector in Myanmar is expected to occur. 

Telecom Investments 

Investments in the Myanmar mobile telecom industry are already taking place amongst the top four telecom companies, which are Vietnam’s MyTel, Qatar’s Ooredoo, Norway’s Telenor, and Myanmar’s Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT). In Telenor and Ooredoo’s case, ever since their entry in 2014, they’ve invested more than US$2billion in the Myanmar mobile telecom industry. Similarly, MPT have pledged to invest US$2billion and cooperate with Japan’s KDDI Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation over the span of ten years to ensure excellent telecom services.

Myanmar Telecom Industry Development

The rising demand of telecom solutions in Myanmar have also resulted in an influx of internet service providers (ISPs). In fact, there are more than 140 licensed ISPs operating in Myanmar. As a result of this, Myanmar mobile operators are pushing down the price of their phone data packages to capture market share. For instance, in May 2017, Myanmar SpeedNet charged their customers US$95 per month for 2mbps and a US$250 set up fee. After one year, customers now only pay approximately US$18 per month for 2mbps and a US$90 set up fee, whereas customers who sign up for a six-month contract pay no set up fee.

Customers not only can expect to pay lower prices for the same services offered before, but also get better telecom quality and services as every Myanmar mobile operator improves their offerings to stay competitive. 

Myanmar Mobile Industry’s Current Condition

Based on the data from 2017-18, mobile phone penetration rate in Myanmar has exceeded 100 percent, with the country having 56.8 million mobile phone users. What’s more, a report by OpenSignal found that 4G availability in Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar, is at 80 percent. This is the fourth highest among ASEAN cities, following Bangkok, Singapore, and Jakarta.

Vietnam economy is expected to exceed Singapore’s in 10 years time. In fact, Vietnam grew by 7.1% last year, the fastest growth rate among ASEAN countries.
Malaysia economy expands above the forecasted growth rate for Q1 2019 at 4.5%. Malaysia is also likely to regain its Asian Tiger status by 2021 as it grows steadily.
Myanmar economy is expected to rebound to 6.5% despite slow growth last year. Reasons for slow growth include weak export demand and a fragile banking sector.
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