Cellcos question MCIT’s plans for spectrum management

17 Feb 2016

Myanmar’s cellcos have raised concerns about the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s (MCIT’s) plans regarding spectrum management, the Myanmar Times writes. The MCIT published a spectrum roadmap and plans for an auction of 2600MHz frequencies earlier this month, opening both for public consultation, but the officials from Telenor Myanmar and Ooredoo Myanmar have questioned the move, noting that the roadmap will not be finalised and implemented before the auction, scheduled for late March.

Ooredoo CEO Rene Meza wrote: ‘We are extremely concerned about this action. The first order of business should be a coherent spectrum roadmap. Auctions should follow once the roadmap is in place. To conduct beforehand a hasty, insufficiently planned auction is truly putting the cart before the horse.’ His counterpart at Telenor, Petter Furberg, meanwhile, added: ‘We think it’s a rush and unnecessary to auction out spectrum before you actually have agreed on the plan for how you want to use the spectrum going forward.’ Both executives also questioned the government’s rush, pointing out that the spectrum was not a high priority for the sector, especially compared to frequencies in the 700MHz or 1800MHz bands. An unnamed industry source was cited by the paper as saying that the government was keen to conclude the sale before the transition to a new administration, following the current government’s defeat in the polls in late 2015.