Telecommunications in Myanmar

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Myanmar has begun the liberalization of its kalarma telecoms satellite in 2020.[1]

Telecommunication networks[edit]

Private street telephone post in Myanmar

Previously, Myanmar Post and Telecommunication had a monopoly in the country. In 2013, the government started taking steps to open up the telecommunications market, issuing licenses to new service providers. Consulting firm Roland Berger supported the government in the liberalization and tendering process.[2] In 2014, Qatar-based Ooredoo and Norwegian Telenor Group entered the market, resulting in the reduction of consumer prices and a rapid growth in the number of subscribers, as well as the expansion of the country's infrastructure.[3] In November 2015, Ericsson named Myanmar the world's fourth fastest-growing mobile market.[4] As of June 2015, Myanmar has a mobile phone penetration rate of 54.6%, up from less than 10% in 2012. On 12 January 2017, Mytel (Telecom International Myanmar Co., Ltd.) received License for the provision of telecommunication services, officially became the 4th operator in Myanmar.[5]

Telephone system[edit]

General assessment: meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government Domestic: system barely capable of providing basic service; cellular phone system is grossly underdeveloped with a subscribership base of less than 1 per 100 persons[needs update] International: country code - 95; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE 3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and ShinSat (2007)

Bids have been offered for two fresh telecom licenses by the Myanmar government. The deadline was set to be 8 February 2013. The licenses were expected to be issued in June and carry a contract duration of up to 20 years. Two more licenses were expected to be offered following this round of bidding.[6]

According to government statistics, 5.4 million of Myanmar's 60 million population had a mobile phone subscription at the end of 2012, giving the country a mobile penetration of 9 per cent.[7]

According to official figures released in mid-2012, Myanmar had 857 base transceiver stations (BTS) for 1,654,667 local GSM mobile users, 188 BTSs for 225,617 local WCDMA mobile users, 366 BTSs for 633,569 local CDMA-450 mobile users, and 193 BTSs for 341,687 CDMA-800 mobile users. Huawei who has built 40 percent of the towers and ZTE has built 60 percent in Myanmar, which amounts to 1500 across the country, said it has built the towers mostly in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw.[8]

The Myanmar Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee selected Norwegian Telenor Group and Ooredoo of Qatar as winners of the bidding, for the two telecom licences issued by the government of Myanmar.[8] The licenses allow the operators to build and operate a nationwide wireless network for 15 years. Ooredoo began selling low-price SIM cards at a price of US$1.5 in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw in August 2014. Prior to 2012, during military rule, SIM cards cost USD 1,500.[9]

Mytel is the fourth telecom firm of Myanmar. It is a joint venture between Myanmar Army-backed Star High Public Co Ltd, which holds 48 percent, Vietnam's Ministry of Defence owned Viettel Group, which holds 28 percent, and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Ltd, a group of 11 local companies with a combined 23-percent stake.[10] Commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing stated on the opening ceremony of Mytel on 11 February 2018 that it will cover 93 percent of the 2G networks and 60 percent of the 4G networks of Myanmar after installing towers and stations across the country.[11]


Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2015)

Television broadcast stations: 6 (2015)


  1. Kyehmon (Burmese: ကြေးမုံ) - state-run daily
  2. The New Light of Myanmar (Burmese: Myanma A-lin) - English and Burmese language organ of SPDC
  3. The Myanmar Times (Burmese: Myanma Taing) - private-run English-language weekly
  4. Myanmar Business Today - the country's first and the only private-run business weekly


  1. MRTV state-run, operated by Myanmar Government - Broadcasts With DVB-T2 System. Including 14 TV Channels Burmese, Arakanese, Shan, Karen, Kachin, Kayah, Chin, Mon and English
  2. MITV - Showing about Myanmar to around the World.
  3. Myawady TV army-run network

Broadcasts 7 Free Digital Channel available in Naypyidaw, Yangon & Mandalay.

  1. SKYNET Largest Pay TV Service In Myanmar. Providing 110 TV Channels (Local & International) Including 10 High Definition Channel. Broadcasts With DTH system on Apstar 7 Satellite. SKYNET Have Official Broadcaster To England Premier League, Spain LaLiga, Italy Serie-A, France League 1 In 2015/16 Season.
  2. 4TV - Second Largest Pay TV Service In Myanmar. operated by Forever Group.

Providing Free to air Channels, Local & International Pay TV Channels, and High Definition Channels. 4TV Has Only Broadcasts 2 Way With DTH and DVB-T2 In Myanmar.

  1. Democratic Voice of Burma - Activists from the 88 Generation launched it. Based in Norway, it makes both TV and Radio broadcasts


  1. Radio Myanmar - state-run, operated by Myanmar TV and Radio Department
  2. Thazin Radio - Military operated station
  3. City FM - entertainment-based, operated by Yangon City Development Committee
  4. Bagan FM
  5. Cherry FM - Commercial station broadcasting music based programs to main cities
  6. Mandalay FM
  7. Padamyar FM
  8. Pyinsawaddy FM
  9. Shwe FM
  10. Democratic Voice of Burma - opposition station based in Norway, broadcasts via shortwave

News agency

  1. Myanmar News Agency (MNA) - state-run


The government now allows unrestricted access to the Internet. Many people are using the internet freely, often with widely available smart phones.

Myanmar Teleport[12] (formerly Bagan Cybertech), Information Technology Central Services (ITCS),[13] and the state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT)[14] are two of the Internet service providers in Myanmar.[15][16] Internet cafés are common in the larger cities of the country. Satellite (VSAT)internet connection is also available from Skynet, a satellite television provider, and another (VSAT) Operator Com & Com.

According to MPT's official statistics as of July 2010, the country had over 400,000 Internet users (0.8% of the population) with the vast majority of the users located in the two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay.[17] More recent figures are hard to find, but the widespread use of smart phones and tablets with cellular modems on the 3G and 4G networks means that internet usage is likely to be far higher than the figures from 2010 indicate.

Although the internet remains unrestricted, Myanmar experience internet shut downs during politically sensitive times. In 2007, the military government shutdown the internet during the Saffron Revolution for a few days to restrict information from within the country to be disseminated to international media. In 2019 June to February 2020, a few townships from Rakkhine and Chin State are facing internet shut downs as ordered by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Daniel; Wikipedia, Gwen (4 April 2020). "Myanmar opens up new telecoms frontier". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Advancing Myanmar's telecom infrastructure". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Myanmar named fourth-fastest-growing mobile market in the world by Ericsson". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  5. ^ Thant, Htoo (2 June 2015). "Mobile penetration reaches half the country". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Myanmar telecom bidding war heats up". 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Vodafone, China Mobile eye Myanmar". 5 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Myanmar's two telecom licences goes to Telenor and Ooredoo", Yozzo Telecom News, 27 June 2013
  9. ^ "Myanmar's Mobile Revolution Kicks On". TNW News. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Belgian Firm's Withdrawal from Mytel Operator Sees Minimal Impact". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Mytel to target rural areas and compete on price". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Company at a glance" Archived 16 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Yatanarpon Teleport Co., Ltd.
  13. ^ "New consortium to shake up IT sector" Archived 5 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Ye Kaung Myint Maung, Myanmar Times, vol.19, no.370 (11–17 June 2007)
  14. ^ "Internet Services Tariff" Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Information Technology department, Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs. Retrieved 10 June 2011
  15. ^ "Myanmar Internet Provider" Archived 10 September 2012 at, Guide for Myanmar 2007
  16. ^ "Internet service hampered as Myanmar Teleport server breaks down" Archived 19 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Mizzima News Agency, 10 February 2009
  17. ^ Wai-Yan Phyo Oo and Saw Pyayzon (30 July 2010). "State of Internet Usage in Myanmar". Bi-Weekly Eleven (in Burmese). Yangon. 3 (18): 1–2.

External links[edit]