Myanmar to shift towards fixed technologies, says ZTE head

21 Nov 2018

Rising demand for video streaming services in Myanmar may cause a shift in the industry from mobile to fixed broadband services over the next two years, Yan Xiao, CEO of Chinese vendor ZTE’s Myanmar division, said in an interview with local news outlet the Myanmar Times. According to the official: ‘We are already seeing the demand trends change … [people] are streaming movies and sharing high-quality content. The available infrastructure and services to support the higher levels of data consumption in Myanmar will no longer be sufficient … MBB [mobile broadband] will no longer be able to conveniently support high-quality video consumption. Consumers will need to switch to FBB [fixed broadband] going forward.’ Myanmar is – by design – a predominantly mobile market, as the government has sought to provide affordable digital services to the population as rapidly as possible following the opening up of the market in 2013. Trends towards bandwidth-intensive services such as high-quality video streaming will lead to demand outstripping the capacity of the mobile networks, however, and both operators and customers will need to switch to fixed technologies instead. Mr Yan notes that – so far, at least – the country’s largest telcos have directed their efforts towards mobile services as they yield better rewards on investment, as fixed broadband infrastructure requires substantial capital expenditure. ‘There is a huge opportunity for the telcos and ISPs in this space. But government support is needed,’ the official added.

Alongside fixed broadband development, Mr Yan said that ZTE is discussing potential IoT trials with providers, but claims that 5G technologies will be needed to realise that ambition. As such, the vendor has begun lobbying for the government to offer temporary concessions for 5G spectrum, so that telcos can start conducting 5G trials.