Over the past month, internet speeds have allegedly doubled in designated transmission areas of Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay as a result of a free service upgrade trial the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported on August 16.
Deputy Minister for Communications, Posts and Telegraphs U Win Than said during an Amyotha Hluttaw session that the higher speed service, which began on July 15, will be provided to remaining townships on a step-by-step basis. Calculations to accommodate a potential reduction in ADSL fees are also being made.
Twenty-four-year-old Ko Tun Tun Aung told The Myanmar Times that as an IT journalist, he uses the internet every day to keep up to date with content posted on government websites and social media networks.
“When the internet connection is slow, I rely on Facebook because its content is the quickest to access”, he said.
Ma Khin Khin, a 25-year-old software programmer from Pabedan township, said: “I use the internet on my mobile phone every day. I began using the internet in 2005 and I’ve noticed a change in connection speeds over the years – it’s pretty fast now.”
Yatanarpon Teleport and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications are the nation’s two major internet service providers, with other companies such as Red Link Communications also selling internet services. However a telecommunications law that is expected to be passed in the near future that will allow foreign companies to invest in Myanmar’s telecom sector.
U San Min, the owner of Life.net internet café in Kyauktada township said the easy availability of the internet on mobile telephones since mid-March is reducing the number of people who visit his café.
Mobile-based internet costs K2 a minute though GSM phones and K4 for WCDMA connections.
In April, an MPT official said the government planned to boost internet speeds by connecting to the global SEA-ME-WE 4 cable via Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, Minister for Communications, Posts and Telegraphs U Thein Win said during an ICT Development workshop on August 18 that Myanmar will install a 4G network before the Southeast Asia Games late next year, the New Light of Myanmar reported the following day.