Government gives operators option to purchase additional 2×10 MHz of frequencies over next three years.

Telenor Myanmar has paid $80 million (€71.1 million) for 2×10 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum.

The technology-neutral licence is valid for 12 years. It was awarded by the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ Posts and Telecommunications Department (PTD) via the direct allocation method, which offered the same volume of spectrum to all four of the country’s mobile operators – which as well as Telenor, includes Ooredoo, MPT, and Mytel – at the same price.

"With 1800 MHz spectrum, we now are set up to provide customers with a richer Internet experience with superior download speeds, smoother high-definition video streams, lag-free gaming, a stronger social media experience, and more consistent performance in peak hours, among others," said Lars Erik Tellmann, CEO of Telenor Myanmar, in a statement last week.

Telenor Myanmar said that 40% of the licence fee is payable to the Minsitry upon allocation, while the remainder is due between the second and fourth year of the licence term.

All operators have an option to purchase up to an additional 2×10 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum on a first come, first served basis until all 150 MHz of available 1800-MHz frequencies has been allocated. The option expires after three years following the start of the 12-year licence period.

Telenor Myanmar’s mobile data network currently spans 7,500 sites, serving close to 19 million customers across all states, regions and territories.

"Telenor has built the largest mobile network in Myanmar, and over the last 10 months we have gradually introduced 4G in 19 cities and towns across the country, utilising existing spectrum," Tellmann said.

"We are in the midst of enabling 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz on our network, and hope to expand services to more cities and towns in the coming months," he said.