Telenor has commenced commercial operations in Myanmar with the launch of mobile services in downtown areas of the northern city of Mandalay.
The third operator to enter the market after state-owned incumbent Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications and Oreedoo, Telenor has switched on a 900-MHz 2G network with EDGE data and a 3G network.
Services are priced at the mid to lower-end of the market and Telenor will be offering the most affordable voice tariffs of the three operators at launch.
Telenor Myanmar CEO Petter Furberg told TelecomAsia that he and his team felt proud to be part of history in providing mobile services to a country that desperately is in need of connectivity.
Lower end 2G phones are still relevant and help bring down the entry cost.
Furberg said that there is huge attention and people are waiting for services, which means expectations are very high. Launching in Mandalay will allow the back-end systems and registration systems to be stress tested before the larger cities that will follow over the next two weeks.
“This is the first time in history when you are launching a new network when internet is equally important to voice,” he noted.
Furberg said that launching a new network is never easy with 5,000 different tasks to coordinate, but the most challenging task he faced was building towers. There was a lack of clarity in applying for permission as in the past the incumbent operator, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications, was part of the state and they did not need permission to build.