State-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) is a member of the prehistoric SEA-ME-WE3 and very recent SEA-ME-WE5 submarine cable consortiums. MPT also shares the landing facilities with China Unicom, which brings a branch of Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable to the country. This is how the incumbent has secured the landing of two contemporary submarine cable systems. The government has also injected competition and licensed the Singapore-based Campana Group to build the Myanmar-Thailand International Connection (MYTHIC) submarine cable. Last year Campana has contracted Alcatel-Lucent to build the 1,600km MYTHIC cable, equipped with 100Gbps technology for an initial design capacity of 20Tbps.
A few weeks back, I raised a few questions about the incompleteness of a report on Myanmar’s international connectivity. I was happy to see today that the gaps have been closed. MPT, which has sharply increased spending on advertising since losing its monopoly in the mobile market, has been working on new international connectivity that involves bringing to Myanmar, SEA-ME-WE 5, an undersea cable owned by a consortium. MPT would not say when work would begin on the Myanmar branch of SEA-ME-WE 5. However, Yosuke Fukuma, a public relations adviser to MPT, and U Zaw Htay, an engineer in its overseas department, indicated that it would be operational by the end of 2017.