Thaung Tin, Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, who formerly chaired KMD Group, a local computer training company, is a key figure in the ongoing telecom reforms. Here, he responds to questions from a journalist about the challenges MPT, the government-owned company, and the new licensees face.
User rates are always increasing in Rangoon, meaning demand is increasing but supply can’t follow it. Whenever we’ve been issuing mobile phones [SIM cards], internet users are quickly increased as well. So when Telenor and Ooredoo start working, they can take up the demand in Burma.
But it will also be difficulties for them, because they might not be able to provide coverage to all 60 million people in Burma at the same time. Mostly, going by international experience, it might take at least five years for coverage to reach 50 percent of the population from the starts the telecom companies’ operations. We’ve been targeting to meet that goal within three years because we’ve allowed international companies to work competitively at the same time. More Competition will get the work done faster.