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Tag Archives: Myanmar

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 […]

Myanmar telecom bill flawed? Ministry has power to set retail prices?

Now that the two mobile licenses have been issued, all eyes are on the new Telecom Law, expected to be enacted any time. The version I looked at, supposedly worked with assistance from the ITU Bangkok Office, was so bad that it was withdrawn. It appears the subsequent version is not too good: The Sections […]

Islamophobia overridden in grant of Myanmar mobile license

Xenophobes are not very bright. What Myanmar needs to achieve its target of connecting its people very quickly is massive investment. Myanmar Buddhist capital could not connect even five percent of the population in all these years. Now the government has decided to allow foreign capital to do the job. What color is money? What […]

Four contenders for two Myanmar licenses?

I am uncertain about the credibility of this source, but this Myanmar online news source states that the shortlisted 12 have shrunk to four groups. The shortlisted companies have formed into four final groups that include Digicel; the KDDI Corporation together with Sumitomo, Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development Corp. (MICTDC) and A1 Construction; the […]

No telecom law; Vodafone and China Mobile withdraw from Myanmar bidding

Vodafone and China Mobile were an odd couple. Now the story has become curiouser. Lack of regulatory certainty has caused them to withdraw from Myanmar. Vodafone said it had withdrawn after seeing the final licence conditions, which were published on 20 May, because “the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which […]

Myanmar beefs up emergency communications

Cyclone Nargis still haunts Myanmar. With a wall of wave as high as 16 feet at 135 miles per hour, the sea had unleashed its fury across the Irrawaddy Delta on May 2, 2008. Nearly 140,000 lives were perished and 2.4 million displaced people lost everything. It destroyed 450,000 homes, damaged 350,000 others, flooded 600,000 […]

Not yet with license, Telenor announces its plans for Myanmar

With long experience in neighboring Bangladesh, where they may have well discovered the Budget Telecom Network model, Telenor appears to be pulling out all the stops in its Myanmar campaign. Telenor plans to sell SIM cards for free—or with a minimal charge of about 20 kyat (US$0.02)—and offer its phone service by a pay-per-minute plan. […]

How the government manages supply in Myanmar

Today was the day Myanmar lowered the price of SIMs. Here are the conditions imposed. 350,000 SIM cards will be divided among states and divisions on a monthly basis. In order to prevent the common practice of transferring SIM card ownership, the cards will be disabled if they are not used in the first 15 […]

Who is not in the running for a Myanmar license?

Twelve is still a big number, especially when one includes the consortia members. Of the usual suspects, only NTT, Hutch, Etisalat, and Orascom are missing. Of all the cash-rich Gulf and Middle East players, only Qatar is still in the fray. Philippines’ PLDT is out, but that is really not news. Millicom is a bit […]

Details of alleged telecom corruption in Myanmar

Many talk about corruption in telecom procurement by government owned telecos. Here are details: According to a police source familiar with the probe, a suitcase containing US$2 million in cash was allegedly found in Thein Tun’s residence. Investigators are trying to establish whether the alleged funds may have originated from foreign firms, including major Chinese […]

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