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Major Telecom Developments and Telco Announcements Addressed At Second Annual Myanmar Connect Summit

The recent Myanmar Connect 2014 conference kicked off with a record 450 participants, giving local and international telecommunications industry players the opportunity to hear from all four Myanmar mobile operators which aim to increase mobile saturation in the country from seven to 70 percent by the end of 2015.

Myanmar’s preeminent telecommunications conference, held from September 16 to 17 at MICC 2 in Nay Pyi Taw also served as a forum for industry players to pinpoint new business opportunities and meet the players currently spearheading developments in the country’s telecommunications sector.

With an opening address by U Thaung Tin, deputy minister, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the agenda featured market-leading speakers debating and dissecting critical developments in the communications ecosystem, focusing on strategy, infrastructure and services driving both the industry and Myanmar’s socio-economic trajectory.

Telenor’s Petter Furberg spoke about Telenor’s value added services (VAS). Telenor plans to differentiate itself from competition by offering the most relevant VAS to the Myanmar consumer, delivered with a great customer experience, leveraging global partnerships with the likes of Facebook, Google, Opera and Wikipedia.

Ross Cormack of Ooredoo used the platform to address the many questions surrounding connectivity issues stemming from the telcos recent market launch. In addition to touting Ooredoo’s network and call quality, Cormack introduced Ooredoo’s new “May May” mobile health application. The application, aimed at reducing the number of preventable cases of infant and maternal mortality in Myanmar, allows pregnant women to access vital maternal health information via mobile phone. This application was developed by Koe Koe Tech and Ooredoo.

“Myanmar Connect is the meeting of the entire value chain in the telecommunications network in Myanmar,” said Cormack. “It has been an extremely enriching couple of days being able to interact with everyone in that value chain.”

MPT, just days before Myanmar Connect 2014, revealed its new logo. At the conference, Deputy CEO of MPT-KDDI-Sumitomo Joint Operation, Khin MaungTun, unveiled the company’s new organizational structure with KDDI as they begin their joint operation of the incumbent telco.

Each executive position will be filled with two executives, one from MPT and one from KDDI, in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and capacity building. Also, Koichi Kawase, chief commercial officer for MPT, announced the telco’s plans to offer a mobile money transfer system.

One of the many highlights of Myanmar Connect 2014 was the panel session titled “Inspiring Myanmar Consumers”, which saw Htun Htun Naing, chairman, Blue Ocean, Ross Cormack, CEO, Ooredoo Myanmar, Richard See, head of marketing, Samsung Myanmar, and U Myint Kyaw Thu, director and founder, Total Gameplay Studio, debate the use of Zawgyi verses Unicode fonts.

While both MPT and Ooredoo currently use Zawgyi font, the industry consensus is Unicode is a critical step in the realm of programming and for the future of Myanmar product and application development.

In closing, Rosalind Irving, CEO of Capacity Media, organisers of Myanmar Connect said, “The second annual Myanmar Connect exceeded our expectations. From attendance to information sharing, Myanmar Connect has proven to be an ideal stage for open dialogue between the brightest minds revolutionising Myanmar’s telecommunications industry.”

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