Norway’s Telenor has confirmed that the company can no longer offer wireless services in Myanmar due to instructions from Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, media Star Tribune reports.
Telenor Myanmar emphasizes that it is wireless connectivity, i.e. mobile internet and wireless broadband, that is currently unavailable in Myanmar. Fixed and Enterprise connectivity, including direct internet access lines for businesses, now remains open during the day.
Telenor is one of Myanmar’s biggest carriers in the country and before the directive from the Ministry on Thursday that instructed that “all wireless broadband data services be temporarily suspended until further notice”, the telecom provider had been offering fiber-optic service of up to 40 megabits per second in its packages, well below high-speed access, which is a minimum of 100 Mbps.
The order to shut down Myanmar’s wireless broadband internet services comes after protesters continued to defy the threat of lethal violence to oppose the junta’s takeover. According to Star Tribune, The Myanmar government has shut down all but a few fully military-controlled media outlets. Some of those banned or whose operations have been suspended have continued to publish via social media or whatever methods they can find.
The crisis in Myanmar has escalated in the past week with an increase in violence and the number of protesters killed. The Myanmar military has also escalated military airstrikes against the guerrilla forces of the Karen ethnic minority in their homeland along the border with Thailand leaving about 3000 Karen trying to escape to Thailand. Many of those have, however, returned under unclear circumstances and according to Thai authorities, they went back voluntarily. Aid groups however state that they are not safe and many are hiding in the mountains or caves on the Myanmar side of the border.