A Swedish telecommunications equipment and services provider, Ericsson, has decided to set up an office in Yangon, Myanmar in June this year.
With an estimated population of over 60 million, only one million enjoy the use of mobile phones and around 400,000 people have internet access, no one can deny that there’s a future business potential for telecommunications sector in Myanmar.
According to Nomura Securities, with only 4 percent wireless penetration and 3 percent fixed, Myanmar is considered one of the last untapped telecommunication markets in the Asia Pacific region.
However, a new telecom law which could allow up to 5 licenses of direct or indirect foreign operators participation, is currently in a final stage of drafting. The telecom sector in Myanmar, thus, is likely to be on the radar for most telecos for incremental investment.
The government is now targeting 50 percent wireless penetration by 2015, implying a 50 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
At the moment, there is no foreign operator in Myanmar. A few Thai and Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE provide telecom/ satellite equipment. The size of Myanmar’s population is close to Thailand’s, where the combined market cap of the top-3 operators is US$23 billion.
“Telecommunications is on top of the agenda in Myanmar in order attract the much needed foreign investment. Myanmar needs foreign investment and trade in order to continue the positive progress in its socio-economic development,” says Ericsson Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Elaine Weidman Grunewald.