Myanmar - Major shift happening in Myanmar's telecom market

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Last updated: 18 Oct 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 10

Analyst: Peter Evans

Synopsis

Since 1988, when a military junta abruptly took power in Myanmar (Burma), the country has been struggling economically, politically and socially. In 2011 what some referred to as a quasi-civilian government took control of the country following a general election organised by the military. Whatever the precise nature of this new government, there has been a flurry of activity on the reform front. Many small changes have already been implemented and many, larger, reforms are on the table. Coming into 2012 major changes were being proposed for Myanmar’s telecom sector. The government had plans to liberalise the market to some extent. The initial round of reforms was to happen quickly with the issuing of a series of telecom operating licences, allowing international companies to form joint ventures with the government to build infrastructure and to offer services. The changes coincided with wider reforms being pursued by the new government. Of course, there are no instant cures for the country must still contend with the legacy of all those years spent under military rule. The telecommunications sector has long been dominated by the state-owned monopoly telephone service provider, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT). With the military government’s conservative approach to structural reform, it was not surprising that MPT continued to maintain its monopoly over the telecom sector for all those years. This report takes a look the changes taking place in Myanmar’s telecom market in the context of the recent dramatic political and social changes.

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