Two years ago, when I presented a paper on Myanmar’s policy challenges at the LKY School of Public Policy in Singapore, the key point that came up in discussion was what role of the military would play in the fourth operator. What we speculated is coming true, according to Frontier Myanmar:
It is unusual for a country’s military leaders to attend the launch of a telecoms company.
But at the launch of Mytel, Myanmar’s fourth telecoms operator, around 50 high-ranking military officers were in attendance, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Defence Minister Lieutenant General Sein Win.
Lieutenant General Tran Don, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Defence, also attended the June 9 ceremony.
Telecom International Myanmar Company Limited, which operates under the brand name Mytel, is 49 percent owned by Viettel, which is wholly owned by Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense.
Star High Public Company, a subsidiary of military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation, holds 28 percent of the joint venture, while Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public, a consortium of 11 Myanmar companies, holds 23 percent.
The company was founded in 2016 and received a nationwide telecommunications licence in January 2017.
At the launch event, Min Aung Hlaing said that Mytel is Myanmar’s only public telecoms operator.