U Khin Maung Nyo, editor-in-chief of the
Khit Lunge website, poses in his office at the Myanmar Info-tech
compound in Hlaing township, Yangon, on June 6. U Khin Maung
Nyo revealed plans to establish a major new player in Myanmar’s
information technology sector – Information Technology
Central Service (ITCS), which will group a number of private
companies and challenge the more established Myanmar Info-tech
consortium. Pic: Hein Latt Aung
THE government has approved the formation of a new ICT consortium
similar to Myanmar Info-Tech, according to an industry insider
with links to the government-aligned USDA.
U Khin Maung Nyo, who runs the youth-oriented Khit Lunge website,
which was launched by the Union Solidarity and Development Association
in March, said the consortium would be named Information Technology
Central Services (ITCS) but that it was still in the early stages
The group would comprise private sector companies and be involved
in internet activities and software development, U Khin Maung
Significantly, ITCS would become the country’s third internet
service provider, he added, alongside state-run Myanma Posts and
Telecommunication (MPT) and the private sector's Myanmar Teleport,
which has not provided any new connections since 2004.
One of ICTS’s first duties will be taking over the www.khitlunge.com.mm
site, which is currently being funded by the USDA, U Khin Maung
ITCS is to operate in competition with Myanmar Info-tech, another
consortium of private IT companies which was set up in 2001 to
handle “e-government” projects.
But unlike Myanmar Info-tech, ITCS is to be an openly commercial
venture with an emphasis on generating profits.
U Khin Maung Nyo did not give a timeframe for the establishment
of ITCS or reveal what his role would be in the new consortium,
but he said the grouping would be “materialised soon”.
Minister of Posts, Telegraphs and Communications Brig-Gen Thein
Zaw approved the consortium last month but the next steps of its
formation are still under negotiation, U Khin Maung Nyo said.
“It will be managed and operated by a board of directors.
There will be many types of subsidiary companies under its umbrella
for specific purposes, such as software development or internet
“Existing companies from the ICT industry will probably
join the consortium,” said U Khin Maung Nyo, noting that
new companies were also likely to be formed to cater for gaps
in service provision, such as internet connections.
“ITCS will be much like the existing Myanmar Info-Tech
in its organisational structure. But it will play a more dynamic
role in the industry,” he said.
The identity of the board of directors and the consortium’s
basic principles for profit sharing are yet to be determined.
The Yadanabon project – Myanmar’s “Silicon
Valley” – is a special economic zone for IT development
being built over 4050 hectares near Pyin Oo Lwin in Mandalay Division.
It is aimed at attracting foreign invest-ment and is expected
to be formally launched late this year, U Khin Maung Nyo said.
ITCS is to play an important role in the management at Yadanabon,
he added without providing details.
The location of the consortium’s head office is still
to be decided.
Despite the group’s early stage of formation, ITCS is already
working on five services that have never before been available
in Myanmar: voice mailboxes; videophone provision; online ticket
reservations, including for bus and train trips; online certificates
for university graduates; and online notification of matriculation
U Khin Maung Nyo said Brig-Gen Thein Zaw had already approved
work in these fields, which are likely to have a widespread impact
on Myanmar people's use of IT services in daily life.