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Myanmar (Burma) - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
[June 07, 2022]

Myanmar (Burma) - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Sydney, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just released, this edition of BuddeComm report outlines the latest developments and key trends in the telecoms markets. -

But a series of troubling events and increased repression since the military retook power in a coup in 2021 has thrown the forecasts for future growth into considerable doubt. Even estimates about the current state of affairs in the telecom sector are full of uncertainty, with one of the major mobile operators announcing a rapid withdrawal from the country while most of the rest have fallen under the government’s influence.

In the five years since telecom market liberalisation, both mobile and mobile broadband penetration grew from single digits to around 100% by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The global health crisis was the first major event to bring a halt to the market’s climb, but that was only a minor blip compared to what was to come with Myanmar’s second coup d’état in February 2021.Leading up to that point saw officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communications instruct telcos to install spyware in their networks, to give the army access to all private voice and data communications. The junta shut down access to the Internet for several long periods following the takeover, including for the entire month of April. Then, following the refusal of the country’s two privately-owned mobile operators (Ooredoo and Telenor) to comply with the directive to install the surveillance software, executives from the two companies were barred from leaving the country and threatened with having their mobile licenses revoked. With personal safety and business operating conditions deteriorating badly, Telenor arranged a fire sale to Lebanon’s M1 Group, effectively writing off its entire Myanmar venture.

The political, social, and economic unrest has continued over the last 12 months, involving multiple reports of violence and even mobile tower sites being taken out by anti-government protestors. Foreign investors are fleeing the country and the long-term outlook for its telecom sector is, at best, bleak.

Key developments:

  • Military junta threatens the cancellation of mobile licenses and the detention of company executives if operators refuse to load spyware on their networks.
  • Telenor exits the Myanmar mobile market in a fire sale to Lebanon’s M1 following the imposition of military rule.
  • M1 agrees to sell a majority share of its Telenor acquisition to local interests, as dictated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
  • Malaysia carrier Axiata Group puts its planned listing of towerco Edotco on hold due to the political unrest.
  • E-commerce transactions grow 73% year-on-year as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Companies mentioned in this report

Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT); Telenor Myanmar; Ooredoo Myanmar; Mytel.

Read the full report:

Nicolas Bombourg: [email protected]
Europe office: +44 207 097 1241
Oceania Office: +61 280 767 665

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