China Unicom and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) have completed the deployment of a 1,500km terrestrial optical fiber link. It spans from the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan to Myanmar’s Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta. It is called China-Myanmar International (CMI) cable.
This US$50 million cross-border telecommunication transmission link runs from Ruili and Muse on the Sino-Myanmar border to the coast via Mandalay and Yangon. Eventually it will be plugged with SEA-ME-WE 5 and AAE-1 submarine cable systems. Until then, China Unicom will keep pumping Internet bandwidth to Myanmar. It relieves Yangon from the risk of solely depending on the SEA-ME-WE 3 submarine cable.
Acquiring external diversity of international bandwidth is the critical first step to implement Myanmar’s digital ambitions. None of its mobile operators will be able to supply affordable broadband unless there is competition in international gateways and domestic transmission systems. It is related to the establishment of data centers, which is fundamental to cloud computing.