Ooredoo Myanmar, the country’s third largest operator, launched 4G service in parts of the country’s three major cities — Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay – making it the first to offer the high-speed service.
The operator rolled out the service across more than 20 townships in the three cities and aims to cover half of Yangon’s townships, nearly 90 per cent of Nay Pyi Taw’s townships and all of Mandalay, without giving a timeframe, the Myanmar Times reported.
Its 4G plans will be priced the same as its 3G offers.
Ooredoo CEO Rene Meza told the Times it will obtain more spectrum from the government over the next few months and add base stations, which will allow it to expand its 4G coverage to all of Yangon and Mandalay. The company plans to upgrade a quarter of its 3,800 cell sites to 4G.
The new Ministry of Transport and Communications announced it plans to hold an auction for 2.6GHz spectrum.
Rival Telenor Myanmar is currently testing its 4G network in Yangon, Mandalay, Myawaddy and Muse, with plans to launch service soon.
Market leader Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) recently announced it reached the 20 million customer milestone after adding more than 8.5 million mobile connections over the past year.
Ooredoo had 6.9 million connections and a 16.5 per cent market share at the end of Q1, according to GSMA Intelligence. MPT had a 46 per cent market share, while number two Telenor had a 37 per cent share.
Both Ooredoo and Telenor launched mobile service in Q3 2014 after winning licences the previous year.
All three will soon face additional competition after the government in March named Vietnam’s largest operator Viettel the foreign partner for a local consortium awarded Myanmar’s fourth mobile licence. The group aims to build out nationwide network coverage within the first year of operation and extend access to 95 per cent of the population within three years.