NEC, NTT Communications and Sumitomo have completed a major mobile and fixed telecommunications upgrade in Myanmar.
The infrastructure built by the consortium will improve internet connectivity and support greater economic development.
The consortium is providing operational support for the communications infrastructure until mid-January 2014, when the project is scheduled for completion. The infrastructure supports the simultaneous use of services for around 40,000 LTE communication subscribers, 1.5 million fixed-line telephone subscribers and 1 million Internet communication subscribers in three key cities - Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw. The technologies will also improve operational functionality for Myanmar’s domestic ISPs.
A 30Gbps core optical transmission network connects the three cities. This is in addition to LTE communication, fixed line telephone and optical transmission networks capable of 10Gbps Internet connectivity, backbone routers and 50 LTE base stations within each city.
The construction of this communications infrastructure was conducted under an agreement between the consortium and Myanmar’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in support of the country’s “Emergency communications network improvement plan.”
The plan capitalizes on 1.71 billion yen in Official Development Assistance (ODA) that was granted to the government of Myanmar by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an independent administrative agency, following requests from the Myanmar government for assistance from the Japanese government. This is the first infrastructure project in Myanmar that capitalizes on ODA from Japan since Japan’s adoption of a new economic cooperation policy towards Myanmar in April 2012.
Mynamar is one of the first countries in the world to benefit from state-of-the-art virtualised Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) mobile network solutions. This enables operators to run applications on common commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) severs rather than custom hardware which can significantly reduce CAPEX and OPEX for operators. It makes it possible to meet the challenge of quickly adding capacity to the network to keep pace with traffic demand and launch new innovative services without the time and expense of procuring dedicated hardware.
Myanmar remains one of the last underdeveloped telecoms markets in Asia. Only 5.4 million of Myanmar's 62-million-strong population had a mobile-phone subscription at the end of 2012, according to government figures. The government wants to increase the percentage of the population owning a telephone to between 75% and 80% by 2015-2016.Fixed line penetration standing at slightly over 1%. As a late-comer to the market, Myanmar will benefit from the very latest communication technologies.
The development of this network aims to improve Myanmar’s communications infrastructure to a level that rivals that of developed markets, while promoting economic revitalisation and improving the quality of people’s daily lives.