Five years ago, Myanmar remained one of the last underdeveloped telecommunication markets in Asia, however this gap is being bridged quickly with a focus on mobile and mobile broadband services and exploding growth in that sector. By 2019 Myanmar was four years into a telecoms boom that has dramatically changed the physical and technological landscape of the country, since the sector was opened to foreign competition in 2014.
Fixed broadband penetration in Myanmar remains extremely low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines as well as the dominance of the mobile platform and an unwillingness by operators to invest in fixed broadband infrastructure. However, by 2019 a number of new fixed broadband service providers were emerging, installing fibre below or above ground for fixed line broadband access.
One factor behind home broadband pricing falls is the entry of the telcos into the home broadband market to compete directly with existing ISPs. Over the next five years to 2023 the market is expected to grow very strongly but overall market penetration will remain extremely low compared to other nations.
Myanmar’s mobile market has experienced very rapid growth in recent years, driven by the entry of three new competitors in the market, increasing the number of operators from just one to four. This has dramatically increased market competition.
By 2019 the mobile market was approaching saturation and was seeing increased competition over data prices. Average revenue per user dropped further with the entry of a fourth operator- Mytel.
Mobile broadband has experienced rapid growth over the past five years, driven by rapid growth in the mobile sector. Because telco reform came very late Myanmar, it has essentially leap frogged past fixed broadband access to mobile devices access for internet services.
Strong growth is predicted over the next five years however at a slower rate due to increasing maturity in the market. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out 4G and eventually 5G networks.
Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT); Telenor Myanmar; Ooredoo Myanmar; KDDI; Sumitomo; SingTel, Digicel; Qatar Telecom; Viettel Group; Vodafone, Myanmar National Tele & Communications (MNTC).
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