Military-backed Mytel becomes fourth telecom operator to launch services in Myanmar

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Mytel, Myanmar’s fourth telecom operator, officially launched its services in the country on June 9 and now offers 80 per cent of 2G and 4G network coverage in the country, a top executive said.

Telecom International Myanmar Company Limited, the company behind Mytel, is a joint venture between Myanmar government-owned Star High Public Co Ltd, the MTNH consortium comprising 11 Myanmar companies, and Vietnamese telecom company Viettel.

Viettel, which is backed by Vietnam’s defence ministry, owns a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture while the Myanmar consortium holds 23 per cent. Star High Public owns the remaining 28 per cent.

Star High Public is backed by Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), a conglomerate operated by the military.

With an expected five-year outlay of about $2 billion, Myanmar’s latest telecom operator has already invested over $1 billion ahead of its official launch, said Zaw Min Oo, director and chief external relations officer of Mytel.

“Mytel will be part of the digitalization movement of the country by providing state-of-the-art internet technology [to everyone] from major cities to rural areas so that they can connect not only to each other but with the world,” said Oo.

For next year, the telecom operator is looking to deploy another half a billion dollars of capital, said Oo during an interaction with this portal.

One-third of the required capital is planned to be financed by international banks while the rest will be contributed by the respective JV companies.

Over the next four months, Mytel seeks to expand its coverage to cover 90 per cent of the country.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Defence Minister Lieutenant-General Sein Win, who attended Mytel’s official launch, highlighted that Mytel is the only public telecom operator in the country and is also the first to launch 4G services directly.

The 11 companies part of the MTNH consortium are Myanmar Technologies and Investment Corporation, Myanmar ICT Development Corporation, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation, Shwe Pyi Tagon Telecommunication Public Company, Golden Land East Asia Development, Myanmar Edible Oil Industrial Public Corporation, Myanmar Industries Alliance Public, Myanmar Agriculture and General Development Public, International Power Generation Public Company, Royal Yatanarpon Telecom Public Company and Mahar Yoma Public Company.

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