Myanmar has formally invited proposals from local public companies to create a fourth mobile operator, in partnership with a foreign company. Myanmar also is planning to auction off additional spectrum.

Mobile uptake in Myanmar has soared since Myanmar opened up its mobile market, allowing Telenor and Ooredoo to enter the market. In July 2015, Telenor had grown its subscribers to more than 10 million, while Ooredoo reported  3.3 million at the end of April, 2015.

Myanmar also is allocate more sub-1-GHz spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 900 MHz bands.

As you would guess, as mobile adoption–especially of smartphones–grows, new demand will be created for subsea bandwidth to Myanmar.

As of the end of the first quarter of this year, mobile penetration in Myanmar stood at 25 percent,  up from less than 19 percent at the end of 2014.  In a significant development, half of people buying a mobile phone buy a data plan, while 70 percent of all the phones sold are smartphones.

Myanmar  has about 30 Gbps of international bandwidth, with Telenor and Ooredo adding another 10 Gbps, and another order of magnitude to come over several years. There are currently 3,000 mobile towers, but the country needs 15,000 to 20,000, and 25,000 km more transport facilities.