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Tag Archives: Myanmar

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Economist newspaper confuses mobile money and mobile banking

The Economist has a piece on mobiles and banking in Myanmar. This is the world’s leading popular publication on economics, but in this case, it appears the hype has overtaken logic. What is banking? It is the business activity of accepting and safeguarding money owned by other individuals and entities, and then lending out this […]

Yatanarpon privatized?

It has been reported that the CEO of Yatanarpon Teleport, until now believed to be 100% government owned, has stated that is company has been privatized, with the government now holding only 5 percent of the equity. However done (auction or negotiation), privatizations are not this secret. The fact that no one seems to know […]

Myanmar incumbent looking for a partner

It appears that ability to invest was a critical factor in the selection of Ooredoo and Telenor as the first foreign private licensees in the Myanmar telecom sector. Both have committed to low-price mobile services. Telenor has considerable experience in running profitable operations using the Budget Telecom Network business model. Ooredoo can, I suppose, buy […]

New law passed in Myanmar; When will the investment begin?

The legislature has completed its work and the bill awaits the President’s signature. But the actual legislation with 70 amendments from what potential investors saw is yet to see the light. And most of the detail (“the devil is in the detail”) will be in subsidiary legislation. Another nugget that has emerged is that Ooredoo […]

Myanmar telecom law passes the lower house too?

Telecomasia.net quotes the New Light of Myanmar, government publication, to the effect that the law now has only one step more to go: Presidential approval. Myanmar parliament has passed the telecom bill which will allow the nation’s mobile licensees to commence operation. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Assembly) approved the Communications Bill this week, state-run New […]

Myanmar today: Waking up to possibilities

Public phone girl sleeping

It was not long ago, that we thought the Myanmar would remain asleep whilst the rest of the world (save maybe North Korea) reaped the rewards of a vibrant telecommunications sector. Even a few short years ago, the only phone connectivity was through kiosks such the one depicted in the photo, a mobile SIM could […]

India gets 100 Gbps from Bangladesh. Why not Myanmar?

Seven Sisters

Bangladesh will provide 100 Gbps of Internet bandwidth to India. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has planned to deploy cross-border optical fiber cable, which will ensure cheaper wholesale Internet bandwidth to the seven northeastern Indian states. The states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Naga Land, Manipur and Mizoram are popularly known as the “seven […]

USD 15 Billion investment for Myanmar & apps development inside operators?

One thing I have learned is not to place too much trust in promises of investment. But USD 15 billion from one company seems in the ballpark for a country that wants to go from 5 to 80 fast (that’s mobile SIMs/100). All good. But why is the thinking fixated on operators who will do […]

Myanmar is Huawei country?

My respect for Huawei goes back to 2002-04 when I was responsible for telecom reforms in government. They never approached me to lobby for anything. But I asked them what the per-line costs they could offer on CDMA. Their response knocked my socks off. One of the two companies that got the first blocks of […]

Our engagement with Myanmar begins

It was tough to engage when reforms were not on the cards and Myanmar seemed happy to watch while the whole world got connected. Those days we wrote about China selling mobile service inside Myanmar and about cables that were cut. We also wrote about Cyclone Nargis and our small contributions to relief. But all […]

Myanmar Telecom Law passed by Parliament yesterday?

It is reported that the law went through yesterday. No copy is yet available. Given need to translate, may take a few days.

Myanmar must restore its credibility along Internet

Internet in Myanmar has suffered outage on July 20, 2013. Since then the country remains choked in terms of connectivity. Officially the breakdown of only submarine cable (SEA-ME-WE3) at 13 kilometers away from the coast was blamed. The Irrawaddy wrote on July 24: “Works are being carried out to repair the fault as quick as […]

Military mobile in Myanmar

A dark cloud has appeared on the horizon of the Myanmar telecom sector in the form of a license granted to a military affiliated company. There is precedent in countries such as Iran. As long as the regulator can regulate, ownership need not be an issue. Usually the problem is the difficulty a regulator has […]

Figuring out what happened in the award of Myanmar licenses

Now that the licensing is done, it’s time for post mortems on the failed bids. Here is one on Viettel’s failed bid: In 2012, Telenor reported the total turnover of $16.5 billion and the net profit of $1.4 billion. The group has committed to develop the mobile network in the market the next year with […]

Myanmar mobile prices announced

The 90 day period for finalizing the licenses is still not over, but information has been released on the planned pricing structures (this is unusual, since normal practice is to keep it secret until the day the products are launched). But then we should not expect normal from Myanmar. Norway-based Telenor said it will charge […]

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