Four Japanese companies will work with the Myanmar government to build communications lines between the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and Myanmar’s largest cities.
The companies are the Sojitz Corporation, the NTT Communications Corporation, NEC Corporation and NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation. The state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, better known as MPT, commissioned the so-called Communication Network Improvement Project (CNIP), which will require an investment of USD 62 million. CNIP will include a wide range of infrastructure additions and improvements designed to link Thilawa with Yangon, Naypyidaw and Mandalay cities by 2021. These varied projects will include high-speed transmission lines and the first rollout of Myanmar’s 5G service.
There has been no shortage of Japanese investment in Myanmar in recent years. The Japanese government is a key development partner for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, and it has also funded roadways, public transportation and power distribution infrastructure in the city of Yangon.
Meanwhile, communications has been one of Myanmar’s biggest developmental success stories. Vast resources have been poured into cellular infrastructure in an attempt to achieve 100 percent coverage. In 2014, only around a tenth of the country had cellular coverage. Now that number is around 90 percent, 30 percent higher than the portion of the population with access to the national power grid.