Networks in Myanmar finally get 4G

In a move that can only improve business and the economy as a whole, Myanmar can now go 4G. Local telecom operators can now use the 1800MHz range that has been allocated by the government.

The Posts and Telecommunications Department, which comes under the government’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication, has granted permission to Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), Telenor Myanmar Ltd and Ooredoo Myanmar Ltd to use the 1800MHz spectrum. Using this, operators will expand the networks to 4G.

The permission was granted on 15 May 2017, and comes with a 12-year licence. Permission has gone specifically to mobile operators that have been awarded a nationwide telecoms licence. They are paying a fee of $80 million to use this spectrum.

How do customers access 4G?

Further to the permission being granted, MPT has already announced that it is expanding its network to 4G initially in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. It confirmed that it is planning to roll 4G out to other cities very soon.

Advice given to MPT subscribers that are already using 2G/3G SIM cards is that they can exchange them free of charge for a 4G ready SIM. They’ll keep their numbers and can then access the network by switching to 4G/LTE in their phone’s settings.

Telenor Myanmar’s plans for 4G

Telenor Myanmar is expanding its 4G offering, thanks to the new 1800 MHz spectrum. CEO Lars Erik Tellmann said: “Telenor is doing its best to be able to provide 4G/LTE network from the 1800MHz spectrum. In a short while, we hope that this coverage will be available in more cities.”

Similarly, Ooredoo Myanmar introduced 4G to Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw straight away, in May 2017.

Why is 4G a benefit?

LTE is a shortened version of ‘Long Term Evolution’, which is another indication of 4G data provision. The data rate is much faster than that of 3G, allowing people to access, use and download much more information in a shorter amount of time.

The speed of a 4G network means that people will be able to access and share HD videos quickly, access online content with no hiccups or slowdowns and play games much more smoothly.

As well as being able to access entertainment and leisure pursuits online, easily accessible 4G is also going to have obvious benefits for small business owners and people who need the internet to make their living.

It will also improve access to online banking and many more applications that will benefit the lives of people living in Myanmar. Currently, user numbers for MPT are at 25 million, Telenor at 19 million and Ooredoo at nine million.

Htet Tayza

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