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.
Mytel, the fourth telecom licensee in Myanmar, states that it intends to capacity of AAE-1 through MPT. But MPT says it’s not part of the AAE-1 consortium and does not intend to use AAE-1 capacity itself. What does that mean for Mytel? Should it ask for capacity on SEA-ME-WE 5 from its competitor instead? Mytel, which received Myanmar’s fourth telecoms licence on January 12, will also use the AAE 1 (Asia-Africa-Europe) submarine cable “so we will not have to worry about internet bandwidth”, said U Zaw Min Oo.
There is no shortcut to universal access of broadband. Very distinct four segments of broadband supply chain are to be addressed in a synchronized fashion. They are: International connectivity, domestic connectivity, metro networks and access networks. We have detected international connectivity being the ‘Achille’s Heel’ in Asia’s broadband value chain. Our research has prompted the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to adopt Asia Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS).
Bangladesh and Myanmar have joined an international consortium, which has signed an agreement today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to build the South East Asia – Middle East -Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) cable. Once activates in early 2016, the cable will be literally a lifeline for Myanmar’s international connectivity. The country now survives on the first generation undersea optical fiber (SEA-ME-WE 3), which suffers from frequent outage. The SEA-ME-WE 5 cable will also bolster the international connectivity of Bangladesh, as the country is only plugged with the SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable system. The six terrestrial operators of Bangladesh have been saving the country from fragility like Myanmar.
Myanmar has never been so shaky about getting disconnected before. It has happened after SEA-ME-WE3, Myanmar’s only submarine cable, was snapped at 13 kilometers south of the Irrawaddy Delta’s shore last week. “Works are being carried out to repair the fault as quick as possible in coordination with [a] Singapore-based underwater repair and maintenance team. It is expected to take about one month,” warned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), reports Irrawaddy. Douglas Maduray of Renesys Corp.