Monday, April 24, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Mytel to target rural areas and compete on price

Myanmar’s fourth and final telecoms firm – operating under the brand name Mytel – will make use of the AAE-1 submarine cable, infrastructure belonging to state-owned MECtel and try to beat its rivals on services charges, its external relations officer said at press conference last weekend.

U Zaw Min Oo speaks at the Mytel press conference. Photo: Aung Kyaw Nyunt / The Myanmar TimesU Zaw Min Oo speaks at the Mytel press conference. Photo: Aung Kyaw Nyunt / The Myanmar Times

Mytel is made up of Vietnam defence ministry owned-firm Viettel, a consortium of 11 local firms and a subsidiary of military-run Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) called Star High Public Company.  

MEC also owns operator MECtel, and Mytel will make use of that operator’s existing infrastructure said U Zaw Min Oo, Mytel’s external relations officer. Details of the infrastructure were unavailable, but telecom industry sources told The Myanmar Times last year that Star High Public Company had access to 1000 towers and more than 13,000 kilometres (8100 miles) of fibre, among other telecoms assets.

Mytel, which received Myanmar’s fourth telecoms licence on January 12, will also use the AAE 1 (Asia-Africa-Europe) submarine cable “so we will not have to worry about internet bandwidth”, said U Zaw Min Oo.

AAE 1 is owned by a consortium of international carriers, with MPT acting as a “co-landing party” for the cable’s connection to Myanmar, according to a senior technical manager at MPT, who asked to remain anonymous.

MPT is not participating directly in AAE 1, however, and does not plan to make use of the cable for additional bandwidth, the technical manager said. But MPT is part of the consortium that built the 20,000 kilometer Southeast Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 5 cable, which was finished late last year.

Mytel, meanwhile, will concentrate on extending their coverage in rural areas and will offer 2G, 3G and 4G services, said U Zaw Min Oo. As far as business plans go, the new firm seems intent on competing on cost.

“Now operators are racing [to compete] with price or services charges,” he said. “So I think that we should reduce services charges [to be less] than other operators, although we cannot announce prices yet.”

Telenor and MPT both still offer 2G services, while Oordeoo entered the market with 3G. All three operators also offer 3G and a limited 4G service.