Qatari-owned cellco Ooredoo Myanmar has signed up more than 500,000 users to its new 4G service since its launch in May this year, the Myanmar Times reports, citing CEO Rene Meza. The LTE network covered areas of across Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw at launch, and is now available to around 4.6 million people. Commenting on the popularity of the new high-speed services, Mr Meza said that the uptake of 4G was the second time that the Myanmar market had taken Ooredoo by surprise, the first being the rapid adoption of smartphones across the country after the cellco’s launch in 2014. The official added that around 82% of Ooredoo’s 8.2 million wireless customers were data users, with a roughly even split between rural and urban subscribers. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Ooredoo changed tack in October 2015, altering its strategy in Myanmar from targeting a narrow group of high-value urban users to tackle the mass market.
Regarding the upcoming spectrum auction for 40MHz of 2600MHz airwaves – due to begin on 17 October – Mr Meza did not make the company’s plans clear, saying that it would be a ‘strategic decision’. The official did specify, however, that it plans to make a bid for 1800MHz frequencies to expand 4G coverage, adding that the regulator was looking to sell the spectrum before the end of the year.