Ooredoo to Roll Out Faster 4G in ‘Most Cities’ After it Secures 1800 MHz Spectrum

Telco Ooredoo has said its 4G network could get up to twice as fast after the operator acquired two blocks of 1800 megahertz spectrum last month.

Qatari-backed Ooredoo paid $80 million for 2 x 10 megahertz blocks of the 1800 megahertz spectrum band under the same terms as rival operators Telenor, MPT and Vietnamese-backed newcomer Mytel, Ooredoo’s CEO for Myanmar, Rene Meza, told Myanmar Business Today via email.

“Since the middle of May we have been deploying facilities to immediately utilize this spectrum to enhance our 4G services,” he said.

With the new-spectrum capability, Ooredoo is “fast-tracking” the roll out of 4G in “most cities” across the country, read a company press release.

Disagreements between the country’s major telcos and the ministry of communications over how the new spectrum would be allocated saw the process pushed back from the end of 2016 to May this year.

It is understood that while the government initially favored auctioning the spectrum off, major telcos including Ooredoo favoured an allocation process where by all operators would get an equal slice of the 1800 megahertz band.

Earlier this year in an interview with Myanmar Business Today, Meza said he would like to see the government learn from the mistakes of other countries who priced their spectrum too high which scared of major operators and stifled economic development.

But the recent announcement suggests that Myanmar’s four telcos and the government ended months of consultations in agreement over the process.

“The spectrum was allocated directly to the four operators on the same terms at internationally benchmarked prices ($80 million)…,” said Meza.

It will “facilitate continued investment and network rollout in Myanmar, supporting the offering of advanced services to the people of Myanmar.”

Source : Myanmar Business Today