The Myanmar government has revealed plans to impose a 2% tax on the income of mobile operators starting in June to fund expansion of telecoms services to unserved rural areas.
The proceeds from the tax will be pooled into a universal service fund to fulfil the provision of basic telecoms services in rural areas, the Myanmar Timesreported.
Myanmar's four mobile operators, which include state-owned MPT, Telenor Myanmar, Ooredoo Myanmar and Mytel – the joint venture between Vietnam's Viettel and a consortium of local ICT companies – will be required to pay into the scheme.
Current mobile networks cover over 90% of Myanmar's population, but the government believes the USF will be necessary to fund the development of network towers in unserved areas.
Through the project the government is targeting 94% population coverage by the first quarter of next year and 99% coverage in the future.
Once basic infrastructure is deployed to the rural areas, more advanced telecommunications services can be introduced in the future, the report states.