State-backed provider Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) has soft launched 4G LTE services in areas of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, following on the heels of its foreign-owned competitors Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar, which introduced commercial 4G services in May and July this year, respectively. MPT’s limited 4G network uses frequencies in the 2100MHz band, but the operator is planning to expand coverage once the government auctions the 1800MHz band. At present, the new network covers MPT’s flagship store in downtown Yangon, as well as: Junction Centre Maw Tin, Junction Square Centre and Taw Win Centre (all Yangon) and Junction Centre and Capital Hyper Market in Nay Pyi Taw. Customers with compatible devices and SIMs are able to use the service straight away, whilst other MPT customers can trade in their current SIMs for 4G-compatible equivalents – but keep their existing numbers – at any MPT-branded store in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.
The CEO of MPT’s joint operations with its partners KDDI Summit Global Myanmar (KSGM) Takashi Nagashima commented on the launch: ‘We have always had our eyes firmly set on building a large network on the 1800MHz frequency in 2017, once the government has released that part of the spectrum. However, the soft launch of 4G today allows our customers to access enhanced data services on the existing network in some key locations, and demonstrates how MPT is technically ready for the next big step.’