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Old January 21st, 2013, 07:01 AM   #1
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Myanmar Telecommunications Industry

Mobile revolution in Myanmar is on the cards, but too slow for many
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(Reuters) - Myanmar is on the cusp of a mobile revolution. Only it's happening way too slowly for many locals.

Last week the government invited expressions of interest for two mobile phone licenses - a first step towards increasing mobile penetration from its current 5-10 percent to 80 percent in three years. That would lift it off the bottom of the world's ladder of mobile use and put it on a par with neighbors like Bangladesh.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #2
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Myanmar Information Technology and Telecommunication News

Google, Intel and Microsoft to open offices in Yangon, tech federation says

Google, Intel and Microsoft are preparing to open representative offices in Yangon this year, according to Myanmar Computer Federation chairman Khun Oo.

“The companies are looking for office locations,” he said, adding that “they will be very useful for Myanmar’s [information technology] sector”.

IT technician Aung Myo Lwin welcomed the news. “It’s a good sign for job opportunities for Myanmar people,” Aung Myo Lwin said.

The companies’ products are already distributed and sold here through authorised dealers, but the opening of offices signals greater interest in the IT market here and will benefit IT users, IT workers said.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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KDDI launch bid for telephone services in Myanmar

http://www.myanmarupdate.com/kddi-la...es-in-myanmar/

Japanese telecom giant KDDI Corp and trading company Sumitomo Corp are pushing towards forming a joint venture to provide cellphone services in Myanmar, according to The Asahi Shimbun report.

KDDI has already put its bid in Myanmar government’s auction for telephone service providers, the report says.

Saturation of cellphone subscribers in Japan forced its service providers explore outside markets while Myanmar has just started to open up the government-controlled market for the first time.

Only five percent of more than 60 million population have cellphone access in Myanmar.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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Samsung's Myanmar Factory gets Green Light

http://www.myanmarupdate.com/samsung...s-green-light/



Myanmar Investment Commission has approved the establishment of Samsung factory in Hmawby in close vicinity of Yangon, according to a Popular News report.

The factory will provide job opportunities to about 50,000 local people.

“Investment volume is huge. So, 50,000 people will be employed,” Commission Chairman U Soe Thein told to Popular News.

The world’s leading handset maker also has its factory in Vietnam and Samsung is one of the most popular brands among Myanmar mobile users.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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Google Executive to Visit Myanmar

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/te...nmar.html?_r=0

YANGON — Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt of Google plans to go to Myanmar this week, becoming the first high-profile executive from a technology company to visit the country since the West eased sanctions imposed during decades of military dictatorship.

ince Myanmar’s military stepped aside and a quasi-civilian government was installed in 2011, setting off a wave of political and economic changes, the country has enjoyed a surge of interest from overseas businesses.

Myanmar, formerly Burma, is the last unexploited territory for businesses in Asia, with untapped markets including the telecommunications sector: Mobile penetration in the country of 60 million is estimated to be a meager 5 percent to 10 percent.

The country’s planned modernization of mobile infrastructure and the expected boom in cellphone use will pave the way for companies like Google, which could profit greatly through sales of inexpensive smartphones built around its Android platform.

Mr. Schmidt “is visiting several countries in Asia to connect with local partners and Googlers who are working to improve the lives of many millions of people across the region by helping them get online and access the world’s information for the first time in the next few years,” Google said in a statement.

The Myanmar trip, which will be followed by a visit to India, will be Schmidt’s second this year to a country off the beaten track and unaccustomed to Western telecommunications. In January he went to North Korea, saying it was a personal trip to talk about a free and open Internet.

Mr. Schmidt is due to give a speech at the Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Park in Yangon on Friday before making his way to the capital, Naypyidaw, to meet senior government officials, said Zaw Min Oo, secretary general of the Myanmar Computer Society.

For the Friday speech, “there will be an audience of about 400, comprising entrepreneurs, executive committee members of the computer association and young leaders,” Zaw Min Oo said.

In February the U.S. Treasury Department issued a general license for four of Myanmar’s biggest banks, two of which are owned by tycoons associated with the former junta, before a visit by 50 U.S. executives that month to explore opportunities.

The delegation, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development and including representatives of Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft , visited Myanmar to look into projects to increase access to the Internet, strengthen transparent government and expand digital literacy, according to a statement from the agency.

Many leading firms in Myanmar are still largely controlled by businesspeople subject to sanctions, but Western companies are starting to move in after the implementation of a new foreign investment law.

Myanmar is offering two operating licenses for companies to build a new telecommunications infrastructure.

MTN Group, the largest African mobile phone company, is bidding for a license and has said about 90 companies have expressed interest.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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Google launches Myanmar sub-domain ahead of top executive’s visit

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/busines...cutive-s-visit

Myanmar’s enthusiastic techies are hoping that tomorrow’s visit by Google’s executive president will help accelerate plans to develop the Internet here, organisers of the forum Eric Schmidt is to address tomorrow said.

Schmidt is scheduled to deliver a speech and take part in a discussion on Internet development at the Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Park in Yangon tomorrow morning. He will be joined by businesspeople and information technology staff at the two-hour event that begins at 9am.

“The main topic is developing and preparing a plan for the future of the Internet in Myanmar,” said Thaung Su Nyein, who is expected to speak at the event. He said that Schmidt and five local entrepreneurs will participate in a question and answer session with the audience, which is expected to be about 400 people.

Htoo Myint Naung of Technomation Studio is cheering the first visit to Myanmar by a top executive from a global Internet giant. “It will be very interesting because if Google wants to do something here, they will put great effort into it until they succeed,” Htoo Myint Naung said.

Google has already created a sub-domain for Myanmar, www.google.com.mm, and Chaw Khin Khin of Myanmar Computer Company Ltd. said Google was planning to launch services via the sub-domain for Myanmar users soon.

Myanmar Computer Federation president Khun Oo said that although it was still difficult to access Google products here a Google executive had said this would be solved soon.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:22 AM   #7
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Google's executive chairman urges government not to censor Internet

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/busines...r-the-internet

Yangon - Google will prioritize the development of Internet surfing system and useful software for Myanmar, the visiting Executive Chairman of Google Inc. said.

Eric Schmidt also urged Myanmar government to build political and economical conditions to accommodate less censorship in the Internet.

Schmidt attended an IT conference at MICT Park, Yangon, and yesterday.

“When the youth and technology combined, the country will be rich. It makes me glad to hear the views of the children teaching their grandparents with their small voice how to use the internet. It’s better if the government reduce its censorship on internet. The government only wants to hear the good things and dislike the bad things of them on internet. The internet can show the way to develop stronghold for political and economical conditions in Myanmar,” Eric Schmidt said in the conference.

“Google’s main concern for Myanmar is that they will make better to use Google search engine, to make easily available for handy software, to develop better Google translation and Google Map. According to the statistics of the World Bank, we saw that only 1 per cent of total population in Myanmar has a chance to use internet, while the mobile usage is under 10 per cent. It may be because of no basic infrastructure in the communications sector and the high internet charged. The government needs to privatize the infrastructure in the telecommunication sector. In a couple of years, the telecommunication companies will be the most profitable business in this country. The government will require to help the local companies to compete with big firms from overseas in the communications sector. Privatization will be more developed when the private banking system is developed. We will help the Myanmar citizen from rural areas to use internet and surf the general knowledge using search engine in addition to people from urban areas. Most of the webpage are in English language and has only a handful of websites in Myanmar language,” he continued.

Eric Schmidt visited to North Korea during January and went to India before coming to Myanmar.

Google Myanmar Services include Gmail, Google+, Google Search and Google Nexus.

Google users from Myanmar are able to use Google websites with Myanmar sub-domain just a day before Schmidt's visit.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #8
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Myanmar names 12 bidders in race for two mobile licences

http://au.news.yahoo.com/technology/...bile-licences/

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar has announced the names of 12 international consortia that have pre-qualified to bid for two mobile licences, moving closer to opening one of the last major untapped mobile markets.

The companies include India's Bharti Airtel Ltd, China Mobile, Japan's KDDI Corp, Africa's MTN, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, Norway's Telenor SA and Digicel, a group backed by billionaire George Soros.

"The pre-qualified applicants will be required to submit their applications to the committee by June 3, 2013," the Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee said on its website on Thursday.

The committee expects to announce the names of two winners to receive 15-year telecommunications licences by June 27, it said.

China Mobile has teamed up with Vodafone, while France Telecom-Orange is working with Marubeni, and Africa's MTN with M1 Telecom and Amara Communications.

SingTel has joined with Myanmar Telephone Co Ltd and KBZ, while KDDI has teamed up with Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development Corp.

Other pre-qualifiers are Axiata Group, Millicom International Cellular SA, Qatar Telecom and Viettel Group.

The bidding has attracted wide interest from international telecoms firms, which see huge opportunities in a country of 60 million where mobile penetration is just 5-10 percent, compared with rates of over 100 percent in many developed markets.

Myanmar, where SIM cards are prohibitively expensive, has said it hopes to increase mobile penetration to 80 percent in three years, lifting it off the bottom of the world's ladder of mobile use.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Mark Potter)
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Old May 7th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #9
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Huawei opens first showroom in Yangon

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/busines...room-in-yangon

Huawei , the Chinese technologies company has opened its first showroom in Yangon today (May 5, 2013).

The company planed to open more than 20 showrooms in Yangon soon and expected to open 100 stores countrywide, a spokesperson of the company said.

Huawei smart phones have been sold well in Myanmar Android market due to its low price compared to other brands.

The new showroom of Hauwei is located in Sanchaung Township, Yangon. Hauwei's Ascend D2 and Mate will be introduced as the official opening of the store.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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From The Irrawaddy



SIM Card Revolution Still At Least Eight Months Away, Says Telenor Chief



By SIMON LEWIS / THE IRRAWADDY| Thursday, October 3, 2013





A man in Rangoon shakes a box containing tickets at a lottery for the distribution of SIM cards, which are currently only issued on a limited basis by state-owned companies. (Photo: Reuters)




RANGOON — Mobile phone operator Telenor expects to have its license to operate in Burma by the end of the year, but it will be at least another eight months until long-awaited affordable SIM cards become available, the Norwegian company’s local chief said.

Following a competitive tender, Telenor was named in June as one of the first two private firms, alongside Qatar’s Ooredoo, to be awarded a license to offer mobile phone services in Burma.

Years of a state domination of the telecommunications sector have meant the rates of access to mobile phones and the Internet in Burma are among the lowest in the world. Both companies are set to receive 15-year licenses and have pledged to rapidly expand the reach and affordability of telecommunications in Burma.

Telenor Myanmar chief executive officer-designate PetterFurberg said Telenor would be ready to launch SIM cards, to be priced at 1,500 kyat, or about US$1.50, about eight months after the Burmese government awards the company an operating license.

“We still don’t have a license in hand, but we expect it to happen within not too many months,” Furberg told The Irrawaddy in an interview in Rangoon on Wednesday.

“It should definitely happen this year, sometime in the fourth quarter. And then you can add eight months and we’re sometime in next year.”

Ooredoo has said it will start selling SIM cards next year, but it is also awaiting its license.

The government is still in the process of passing a new Telecommunications Law that will set out many of the details of the licenses. The law made it through Burma’s Parliament in August but has reportedly been sent back to lawmakers by President Thein Sein with recommended amendments.

Furberg said the delay was “nothing worrisome” for Telenor, but said the company is keen to see the final draft in order to know the precise terms under which it will be working.

“This is a natural process for any country where you have a law that is proposed from the government and then is being debated in the Parliament, and that might take a little bit of time. I think [that] is fair,” he said.

As soon as Telenor receives its license, Furberg said, the company will begin working toward its commitment of making both second- and third-generation phone and Internet services available to 80 percent of the country within five years.

“It’s a challenge. It’s not an easy country to operate in. It’s not an easy country to build infrastructure in, so we’re very humbled by the task,” he said.

“From the customers’ perspective, what they will get is both 2G and 3G coverage, more or less nationwide, and they will be able to use all the types of services that you can use in other parts of the world.”

Through its network, Telenor will also look to provide mobile information services for farmers, services aiding the delivery of health care over long distances and money transfer services that can be used by people without bank accounts, he said.

Only about 10 percent of an estimated 60 million people in Burma currently has a mobile phone, and just 1 percent has access to the Internet. At present, only the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and Yatanarpon Teleport have telecommunications licenses. A highly controlled supply of SIM cards has fueled a black market where prices of more than $200 for a SIM are common.

Telenor plans to issue SIM cards at 70,000 places across Burma, largely through small “mom-and-pop stores,” said Furberg. Top up vouchers will be available at a total of 165,000 points of sale, he said.

Achieving Telenor’s ambitious coverage target will require a large number of new transmitters around the country. Furberg said he could not give details of the company’s plans or the size of its investment in Burma because the company, while majority owned by the Norwegian government, is also a publicly listed company and therefore must announce such things officially.

He did say, however, that Telenor was open to sharing with other parties the transmitter towers that will be used to create the mobile network. At a cost of about $100,000 to build a tower, he said, it made sense for operators to work together.

“Particularly here in Myanmar, you have to import all the steel and a lot of concrete, which means a total waste of money at a time when the country needs to spend all its investments on building as efficient as possible infrastructure,” he said.

“The government is encouraging tower sharing, and we as a company believe in tower sharing because it is good for the environment and it brings down costs.”

According to Reuters, Jeremy Sell, the chief strategy officer at the Qatari government-owned operator Ooredoo, told a conference in Dubai on Wednesday that Ooredoo and Telenor were actively discussing sharing transmitter towers.

“We might even outsource the entire build,” Sell was quoted as saying, adding that Ooredoo would probably also cooperate with the state-owned operators on transmitters.

Ooredoo did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but the company has previously said it would invest $15 billion in Burma over the course of its license.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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From The Irrawaddy


Qatar’s Ooredoo Eyes Network Sharing in Burma




By MATT SMITH / REUTERS WRITER| Thursday, October 3, 2013






Men look at the logo of Qatar Telecom Ooredoo, formerly Qatar Telecom Qtel, as they walk past the company’s head office in Doha March 16, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)





DUBAI — Ooredoo is in talks with Norway’s Telenor to share transmitter towers in Burma, seeking cost savings as they build networks in one of the world’s least developed telecom markets, a top executive at the Qatari firm said.

Burma awarded the country’s first foreign-held mobile licenses to the two companies in June after receiving interest from more than 90 companies and consortiums. At the time, Ooredoo said it planned to spend US$15 billion over the 15-year license period.

“It’s a green-field launch and we’re going to build the network in partnership with Telenor,” Jeremy Sell, Ooredoo’s chief strategy officer, told a conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

“This has never been done before—we’re rolling out two green-field networks and anything made of steel or concrete we want to share. There are no towers that are so strategic you
can’t share them.”

Sell said this would enable Ooredoo, majority-owned by Qatar’s government, to make “considerable” savings.

A spokesman for Telenor did not return calls or email seeking comment.

Two state-backed firms—Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) and Burma Post and Telecommunications (MPT)—already hold mobile licences. YTP functions primarily as an internet service provider, while MPT—a department of the Communications Ministry—acts as both a regulator and operator.

But these have made little headway in developing the communications sector. Mobile penetration was just 11 percent in 2012—only Eritrea, Somalia and North Korea had fewer subscriptions per capita—while 1 percent of the country’s estimated 60 million people use the Internet, according to the International Telecommunication Union.

Sell said discussions with Telenor were continuing, adding Ooredoo would likely also work with the two local operators. “We might even outsource the entire build,” he said.

Legal Maze

Splitting capital costs would make reaching rural areas more economically viable, with Burma posing big challenges.

“No one speaks English, we can’t get galvanized steel,” said Sell. “There aren’t enough cranes. The country is covered in jungle. The roads flood. There’s no power. It’s a bit like Thailand was 30 years ago—it’s a pristine and beautiful but undeveloped country.”

Edwin Vanderbruggen of law firm VDB Loi, which has offices in Burma and neighboring countries, said foreign operators faced a legal maze in securing land for tower sites.

“Imagine having to sign up an average of 60 leases in a week, often in areas without land-title paperwork, and getting approvals for each one of them from different ministries,” said Vanderbruggen.
“It’s the regulatory equivalent of rolling out a network on Mount Everest.”

A quasi-civilian government came to power in Burma in 2011 after 49 years of military rule, ushering in economic reforms and ending the country’s international isolation.

“We’re launching with a 3G network—for 60 million that will be their first chance to ever go on the Internet,” said Sell. “So far, they’re letting us do it—[to] open access to the entire world for a whole population that has never really seen anything except state media.”

The government approved more foreign direct investment in the five months to Sept. 20 than for all of 2012.

“Us and Telenor and other investors in the country, we don’t want to put a huge amount of money in straight away,” said Sell.

“We’ve still got to be a bit cautious and see how it goes.”
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Old January 12th, 2014, 01:20 AM   #12
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today i came across this web www.myanmar-phone-card.info

have you ever used it ? what is the experience with calls? i have not been so lucky to find a good working service until now now

i have been working in Myanmar for several years and i have some good friends with whom i try to keep up but the cost or the quality is killing me.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 11:10 AM   #13
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Private telecom companies soon to be given licences

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.p...=33&Itemid=356

The government is expected to issue two private telecom licenses within the next two weeks, according to sources from Ooredoo Myanmar.

This will allow both Ooredoo and Telenor, the two winners of last year's bid to operate private telecommunication businesses in Myanmar, to begin providing mobile services.

"We are preparing to work out building 3G networks, implementing a distribution plan, drawing market plan, and implementing social, economical and financial benefits plans for the public," said an official from Ooredoo Myanmar.

Telenor is currently calling for applicants for local outlets in addition to recruiting new staff. Although the deadline for applicants is over, on January 9 the announced that they are still accepting application forms.

The privatisation process of two local telecom operators, the state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications and Yatanarpon Telecom is still under way. However, there is a significant lack of transparency as to how this is being implemented.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #14
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Yangon Online Delivers Amazon, eBay And Apple To Myanmar

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susancun...le-to-myanmar/

The website of the Yangon Online Store resembles an early, very pared-down Amazon or eBay site. The familiar categories of merchandise for sale include books, electronics, computers, sports equipment, health & beauty, clothing, automotive, and Apple products.

Look a little closer and you will notice that only a few items have prices listed and that there’s no way to pay for them online; there are no credit card or PayPal logos. Nor is there the option that many Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese shopping sites offer: payment by direct transfer from the customer’s bank account to the website’s bank.

The explanation is that all payments are conducted in person in Yangon Online’s shiny glass-fronted brick-and-mortar shop on Yaw Min Gyi St. in Myanmar’s largest city. The shop is about a block from the cloth and jewelry vendors of traditional Bogyoke Market. The Yangon Online service is the four-year-old brainchild of a Burmese living in the United States. Would-be customers first browse the site and decide what they want to buy.

Since the products have been culled from Amazon and eBay sites and Apple stores in the United States, customers can phone the Yangon Online shop and ask about buying Amazon and other online products not listed on the Yangon Online Store website. (Yes, obtaining an iffy internet connection in your home is still very expensive in Myanmar but time in a neighborhood internet shop runs around 30 cents an hour.)

Eventually, though, customers must come into the Yangon store to put down a cash deposit of 50% of the total price. Yangon Online reps in the U.S. buy the items and package them for overseas shipment. Typically, delivery takes two or three weeks. Customers pay the remaining amount in cash when they come to the shop to pick up their order.

Ab machines, iPhones and golf clubs

A $50 Coach handbag from Amazon, for example, is shipped free within the United States but Yangon Online’s delivery service to Myanmar plus taxes will add another $35 or so (or its kyat equivalent). A $599 fifth-generation iPhone in the United States ends up costing $700 by the time it arrives in Myanmar (aka Burma). A $50 T-shirt ends up costing $67 on delivery. Naturally, the extra fees depend a lot on weight and size of the item.

I found this business interesting if just because the Yangon Online website seems to be a window on what rich Burmese view as necessary luxuries, although of course expats are Yangon Online customers as well. Perhaps I should say it’s a window on wealthy capital dwellers.It’s a little strange that there isn’t a Yangon Online branch in Mandalay, given that so many conspicuously consuming mainland Chinese reside in the northern second city.

There might be no other place in the country to buy digital lasers, pipe threaders, GPS devices, sound cards, engineering software, golf clubs and tennis racquets. It would be a pain and big expense to haul some of these products on a plane from Thailand. But abs workout sytems? Lancome serum booster and Beyoncé Parfum spray? $700 for the latest iPhone model? A $67 T-shirt? Who needs that stuff? The clerk in the shop told me that cosmetics, perfume and clothing are the most popular purchases.

I hasten to add that there are plenty of late-model smartphones, iPod accessories, computers and digital cameras for sale in Yangon and Mandalay. A few people obviously want and can afford very recent specific models. The iPhones I have seen for sale in downtown Yangon are probably grey market or second-hand from Thailand. (Can we abandon the theme of Myanmar as some kind of hermit kingdom isolated from world events, technology, trade and Walt Disney? There are at least 2 million Burmese working in Thailand alone. Tens of thousands in Singapore and Malaysia. They go back and forth all the time, sometimes daily. They buy stuff to bring home.)

In smaller towns and cities, small shops with glass-covered displays of mobile phones are favorite browsing hangouts. A surprising number of not particularly affluent Burmese have Blackberrys and the newer cheap Chinese-brand smartphones. Phones–or rather, SIM cards–are still expensive. Burmese (though not expats) can get one for less than $100 nowadays but I have met many not particularly rich Burmese that spent $300 just a few years ago for a basic phone or spent thousands several years before that.

Consumer spending isn’t now much of a growth engine in Myanmar. Annual per capita income is around $1,000. Government spending accounts for something like 25% of GDP. But maybe Yangon Online is a signal of future directions.

Update: Just came across this shopping site, YangonBay. Despite the name, there is a strong emphasis on Korean clothing and cosmetics. No surprise: the influence of Korean soap operas and pop singers is hard to miss in Myanmar as well as greater Southeast Asia. Yangon Online has a much greater range of products.

YangonBay’s payment method is more advanced than Yangon Online’s, however. Customers can pay by bank transfer and MyanPay, which sounds like a local variation of PayPal. Customers also can pay cash on delivery within the Yangon metro area. COD is still a pretty common system for online purchases in Thailand and Vietnam. The site also sports logos from PayPal, MasterCard and Visa. I don’t understand how that works; how many Burmese even have credit cards yet? Maybe people, Burmese and otherwise, that have acquired the cards and a PayPal account while living in other countries? My guess is: Burmese people with Singapore credit cards.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #15
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NSN opens office in Yangon

http://www.voicendata.com/voice-data...-office-yangon

Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) has opened two new offices in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar.

With this, NSN will be better equipped to enable domestic operators to provide network coverage to a vast majority of users across the country. With a permanent set-up to execute its operations, NSN has reiterated its resolve to provide optimum support to customers in Myanmar and also support the growth of the telecommunications industry there.

"Myanmar's communications industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and NSN remains committed to hasten this evolution by providing its technology and expertise to local operators," said Raman Vattumalai, country head of Myanmar at NSN.

"The decision to open modern and fully-equipped offices in Yangon underlines our promise to deliver best-in-class services to our customers. This is in line with our aim to help the government fulfill its pledge to provide network coverage across 90% of Myanmar by 2015," said Vattumalai.

"NSN's twin facilities in Myanmar will provide employment opportunities to local youth and empower the people of the country," the company claimed.
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