Myanmar’s state-owned operator MPT has revealed the technology it will be using for its new LTE-Advanced network.
The market leader will deploy 4×4 multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology to provide peak download speeds of 150Mb/s. MPT began offering commercial 4G services in May, a week after Myanmar’s Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) issued each of the country’s four operators with 2x40MHz of additional technology-neutral spectrum in the 1.8GHz band.
With a 44% market share, MPT claims that its network covers 98% of Myanmar’s population, but its 4G service is currently only available in the cities of Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. It will partner with Japan’s KDDI to expand its LTE coverage to five more cities by the end of July and a further 20 cities by November, encompassing the country’s 30 main cities.
Number two operator Telenor Myanmar, which has a market share of 37%, has been offering 4G over the past year in 19 cities and towns via its existing spectrum holding. CEO Lars Erik Tellmann confirmed that the operator planned to use its new 1.8GHz spectrum to extend the service to more settlements, including Yangon.
Meanwhile Ooredoo Myanmar, which is the third largest operator but the 4G leader, is accelerating its 4G deployment. It will use its newly acquired spectrum to increase speeds by upgrading its sites, as well as extending its coverage to new cities. Over 50% of its 9.3 million subscribers have 4G tariffs; only 2% of Telenor’s subscribers have opted for 4G plans.