The Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) of Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MCIT) has published a consultation paper on the allocation of additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band. The regulator explained that it prefers a direct allocation method for the sake of speed, but acknowledged that other methods, such as an auction, would be more transparent. Supporting its position, the PTD claimed that a direct allocation would be the best method, given the ministry’s priorities (in order) of: an efficient and transparent spectrum allocation process; promoting competition in the market, with a view to ensuring high quality of service and low prices for customers; providing resources to allow the development of the sector and the introduction of new technologies; and providing revenue for the state.
Under the PTD’s proposed approach, all four cellcos – Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), Telenor Myanmar, Ooredoo Myanmar and Mytel – would be given the opportunity to acquire 2×10MHz of spectrum at a pre-determined price. The operators would then have the option to acquire up to an additional 2×10MHz on a ‘first come, first served’ basis until all of 150MHz (2×75MHz) of the available spectrum has been allocated. The option for additional spectrum will expire three years after the start of the licence period. To ease the pressure on newcomer Mytel, the cellco will be granted an extra year to acquire the initial 2×10MHz licence, with the operator able to apply for additional spectrum until 1 April 2020. No specific coverage requirements would be included, as such obligations have already been included in other operation and spectrum licences. The concessions will have a twelve-year duration, so that they expire at the same time as the 900MHz and 2100MHz licences allocation to Telenor and Ooredoo.
Operators have until 10 March 2017 to submit their comments on the proposals.