Myanmar start-up cellco MyTel has announced that its 4G network is ready for launch at a ceremony this week, during which the operator completed the first calls on its system, between government officials in Vietnam and Myanmar. Full commercial services are due to become available in Q1 2018. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MyTel is a joint venture between Vietnamese military-backed group Viettel (49%), Star High Public Company – a subsidiary of Myanmar military-backed Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) – (28%), and a consortium of eleven Myanmar companies. The operator received its 900MHz/2100MHz operating licence in January 2017 and is planning to launch a 4G-only service nationwide: MyTel is aiming to deploy 7,200 base stations, supported by 33,000km of fibre-optic cabling, to provide 90% population coverage.
In a related development, meanwhile, Amara Communications (ACS) has begun promoting a ‘4G+’ service under the ‘Ananda Infinity’ brand ahead of a full commercial launch. Part of IGE Group, Amara was established in 2011, when it began manufacturing and constructing network infrastructure as well as producing top-up cards for mobile providers. In 2016, however, the company set about transitioning to become a wireless broadband service provider and in October that year ACS won licences for 2600MHz spectrum in Region 2 (Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Rakhine) and Region 3 (Mandalay, Sagaing, Chin, Shan, Kachin, Kayah). ACS has opened pre-registration for interested customers, but has not yet published details regarding its launch schedule.