Myanmar infrastructure secures Japanese funding

Myanmar’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a funding agreement with two major Japanese firms, Sumitomo and NEC. The two companies will provide support for the Southeast Asian country’s “Emergency communications network improvement plan.”

This is the first infrastructure project in Myanmar that capitalises on Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan since its adoption of a new economic cooperation policy towards Myanmar in April 2012. The development of the network aims to improve Myanmar’s communications infrastructure to a level that rivals that of developed markets, while promoting economic revitalisation and the quality of people’s daily lives.

Myanmar lags behind its neighbours in terms of developed infrastructure, including fixed-line, mobile, internet and power. To address this issue the government has requested assistance from the Japanese government, with a particular focus on the cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw.

In response to these requests, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) concluded a grant agreement with Myanmar on December 28, 2012, promising 1.71 billion yen in ODA. This grant aid will fund Myanmar’s communications network improvement plan, which includes the strengthening of connections between Myanmar’s three leading cities and the reinforcement of communications networks with improved procurement of equipment, installation and operation of systems supporting Internet connections.

The communications infrastructure built under this plan consists of a high-speed, high-capacity core optical transmission network capable of transmitting 30Gbps between the cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw, as well as LTE communications, fixed-line telephones and optical transmission networks capable of 10Gbps Internet transmissions within each city.

This infrastructure will support the simultaneous use of services for approximately 40,000 LTE communication subscribers, roughly 1.5 million fixed-line telephone subscribers and about 1 million Internet communication subscribers. LTE communications systems will also be supported by 50 LTE base-stations deployed within the three cities.  Systems are expected to be completed by November 2013, followed by technical training and operation assistance. 

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