Telenor Myanmar, the second largest mobile operator in the country, stepped up its LTE rollout, announcing coverage now reaches 29 of the largest cities – up from 19 cities and towns just a few months ago.
The country’s three mobile operators have all moved to expand their 4G networks after the regulator in May allocated each 2x10MHz of technology neutral spectrum in the 1.8GHz band.
Joslin Myrthong, Telenor Myanmar’s CMO, said the city of Hpakant in Kachin state was added to its LTE network this month: “We are witnessing higher data consumption in the city soon after the 4G/LTE introduction. That encourages us to expand our network to more areas.”
Telenor Myanmar, with a 37.5 per cent market share, had less than 1 million 4G subscribers at end Q3 2017, according to GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) estimates. The figure accounts for 4.5 per cent of its total subscriber base.
Ooredoo Myanmar, the country’s third largest operator but 4G leader, said in June it was picking up the pace of its 4G rollout with plans to expand coverage to additional cities. More than 60 per cent of its 9.9 million mobile subscribers were on 4G plans at end-September, GSMAi estimated.
Market leader state-owned MPT, the largest mobile operator in Myanmar, also said in June was accelerating its 4G rollout, with plans to reach more than 20 cities by November after launching service in parts of Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay.
MPT, with a 43.5 per cent market share, launched commercial 4G service in May in the country’s three major cities a week after acquiring the 1.8GHz spectrum.
The three will soon face a fourth mobile operator, MyTel, which in August set the ambitious target of covering 90 per cent of the country’s population with 4G when it officially launches in Q1 2018.
MyTel plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion to deploy 7,200 base stations to build out a 4G-only network.
The operator is a joint venture between Vietnam-based Viettel and a consortium of local companies operating under the name Myanmar National Tele & Communications (MNTC). The government awarded the venture a mobile licence in January.