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Viettel opens Mytel in Myanmar

Released at: 08:29, 14/06/2018

Viettel opens Mytel in Myanmar

Photo: Viettel

4G services available throughout the entire country just a year after Viettel began the mammoth task.

by Doanh Doanh

Just a year after building telecommunications infrastructure in Myanmar, the Viettel Group has brought 4G services even to remote and mountainous areas where in the past local residents could not access the internet on their smartphones, according to a statement from the Vietnamese communications giant.

Mytel, Myanmar’s fourth mobile phone company, officially began operations on June 9. In its first year it will have telecoms infrastructure including more than 7,000 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) and over 30,000 km of optic-fiber cable.
 
Viettel staff have installed infrastructure that none of the three existing mobile phone service providers can match. And of the ten countries where Viettel operates, Myanmar is where it has installed infrastructure the fastest, especially for 4G.
 
In Kachin, the northernmost state in the country and with its tallest mountain, local people were skeptical when first told they would be able to access the internet on their smartphones using 4G services provided by a new company, Mytel.
 
In the remote, mountainous and craggy area that is Kachin, it is incredibly hard to believe that a newly-established mobile service provider can offer 4G services to local people.

In 2016, when Wai Zin Min was 20, his Myanmar went through an event that would change its history: the US lifted its two-decade-old embargo.

Min was a student at a leading university in Myanmar and understood that the lifting of the embargo would change not only his generation but also many future generations in Myanmar.
 
Its economy and society underwent significant changes and opportunities arose for graduates like Min.
 
He decided to work for Mytel, the newly-established joint venture between Viettel Global, a Viettel subsidiary, and its two local partners, Star High Public Company and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public, after turning down job offers from several other foreign companies.
 
Min became one of the first Mytel technicians, but of course he was not the only Myanma to join the company.
 
Min and his compatriots, along with 60 young Vietnamese, created “an army with 1,000 soldiers” to race against time to deploy one of the most unique telecoms networks in the world: installing 4G infrastructure for the whole country, a country where only 5 per cent of the population had used mobile phones a few years earlier.
 
The plan had an ambitious goal. By the time of its opening Mytel was to have a network of 7,000 4G BTS and over 30,000 km of fiber-optic cable, which would enable the country to have a real broadband network.
 
One thousand Mytel workers had to install the telecoms network on a total area of 700,000 sq km to be able to connect every single person.
 
“I had been waiting for the opening day for a very long time,” said Mr. Truong Vu Son, Director of the Mytel office in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital.
 

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