State-owned MPT, the largest mobile operator in Myanmar, today launched commercial 4G service in the country’s three major cities – Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay – just a week after purchasing additional spectrum from the government.
MPT said it is moving quickly to expand its LTE network after it was allocated 2x10MHz of 1.8GHz spectrum by the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications Department for $80 million.
The country’s three other mobile players – Telenor Myanmar, Ooredoo Myanmar and Mytel – received the same amount of spectrum for the same price.
MPT started offering 4G service in select locations in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital city in late October 2016. It is the last of the major mobile operators to launch 4G service on a commercial basis.
The government in January awarded the country’s fourth mobile licence to a venture between Vietnam’s Viettel and a consortium of local companies operating under the name Myanmar National Tele & Communications (MNTC), which will operate under the Mytel name. The new company won’t launch service until 2018.
Ooredoo Myanmar, the country’s third largest operator, was the first to launch 4G service in parts of Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay in May 2016.
Second ranked Telenor Myanmar, with a 37 per cent market share, rolled out 4G service in July 2016 in Nay Pyi Taw and since expanded coverage to other major cities and towns. It had nearly 500,000 4G users at the end of Q1, while Ooredoo had more than 5 million 4G connections, accounting for 54 per cent of its user base, according to GSMA Intelligence.