Home Insider Insider News MPT Soft-launches 4G in Yangon and Naypyidaw

MPT Soft-launches 4G in Yangon and Naypyidaw

In a late move in rolling out commercial 4G services in Myanmar, the country’s state-owned telecommunications provider MPT has soft-launched the LTE service in places of Yangon and Naypyidaw, following in its foreign-owned rivals’ footsteps.

MPT’s newly launched limited 4G network employs frequencies in the 2100MHz band, and the local operator looks to expansion of the coverage in the 1800MHz band when the government makes spectrum auctions later this year. At present, the coverage of the 4G service soft-launched by MPT is available only at a small number of places in the two cities that include the provider’s flagship store downtown Yangon, Junction Centre Mawtin, Junction Square Centre and Taw Win Centre in Yangon and Junction Centre and Capital Hyper Market in Naypyidaw.

MPT, or Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications, is lagging behind its foreign competitors Ooredoo and Telenor to launch 4G. Ooredoo Myanmar introduced the service in May and Telenor in July. Ooredoo started 4G with initial offering in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw while Telenor rolled out the service with initial access in Naypyidaw.

Given the unprecedented increase in mobile data usage among Myanmar people as a consequence of the rise in mobile literacy and the social media boom encouraged by a flourishing smart phone market, the telecom providers in the country are heading for 4G services. An issue on the way to their upgrading to 4G is the availability of sufficient spectrum for the expansion. They have firmly set their eyes on building a large network on the 1800 MHz frequency in 2017 once the government releases that part of the spectrum, said Takashi Nagashima, the CEO for MPT’s joint operations with its Japanese partner KDDI Summitomo.