Data usage is increasing in Myanmar at rates way beyond expectation. Operators are scrambling to meet demand first with 3G and now with 4G. Release of 1800 MHz spectrum will be critical in this regard.
U Myo Swe, deputy director of the Posts and Telecommunications Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said the 1800MHz band would be allocated to all operators in March.
The spectrum will be made available to all operators equally, he said. A fourth telco – a collaboration between Hanoi-based telecoms operator Viettel, a Myanmar consortium and a Myanmar military-owned firm – is expecting to start operations next year. But whether that firm will be included in the 1800MHz process is unclear.
State-owned operator MPT, which started offering 4G in a handful of locations in Yangon and the capital in October, is eager to get its hands on the new band.
“Currently, we cannot extend the 4G network to other areas. We are hoping to purchase 1800MHz spectrum [then] we will extend [4G] across Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw first,” U Khin Maung Myint, director of marketing at MPT-KGSM – MPT’s joint venture with overseas partners KDDI and Sumitomo – told The Myanmar Times.