Internet in Myanmar https://www.internetinmyanmar.com We bring you the top news and unbiased reviews about mobile and fixed broadband Internet in Myanmar. Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:32:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://i0.wp.com/www.internetinmyanmar.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-iman_fb1_internetmyanmar-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Internet in Myanmar https://www.internetinmyanmar.com 32 32 118451647 MyTel & Ananda hit the Myanmar market https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/4g-telco-myanmar-market/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/4g-telco-myanmar-market/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:30:31 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2345 The telecom market in Myanmar is about to enter a new era. Headlines of the past few days, two new telcos announced their incoming 4G launch. First of them, Mytel officially launched its 4G network last Sunday during a ceremony in Nay Pyi Daw where the operator initiated the first call. Mytel was awarded a […]

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The telecom market in Myanmar is about to enter a new era. Headlines of the past few days, two new telcos announced their incoming 4G launch.

First of them, Mytel officially launched its 4G network last Sunday during a ceremony in Nay Pyi Daw where the operator initiated the first call.

Mytel was awarded a mobile license in Myanmar in January 2017. The new mobile operator is a hefty joint venture between Star High Public Co Ltd which owns 28% stake, a consortium of eleven local companies that own 23% and finally the international telecom operator Viettel which owns the remaining 49%.

The 4th licensee announced that it will cover 90% of the country by the time of the launch and that it will start selling SIM cards next month. Mytel is planning to deploy 7,200 base stations, backed up by 33,000km of optic fiber cabling. The mobile operator makes the bet of a 4G-only network which is a bold move. Four years ago, Ooredoo took the risk of rolling out a 3G-only network with little success and finally decided to take a step back and activate 2G as well.

Myanmar is the 10th mobile network launched outside of Vietnam by Viettel. The Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator focus on expanding in emerging countries and has a reputation of being extremely aggressive price-wise.

Saying that, mobile data prices in Myanmar are already at an extremely low level compared to international standards. In December 2017, the three active mobile operators in Myanmar even decided to increase their prices back to sustain their network expansion. The current blended rate for mobile data in Myanmar is around $1 per GB.

101% mobile penetration reached in 2018

According to a recent survey by We Are Social, Myanmar just reached 101% penetration on mobile. This means that there is no untapped market anymore for Mytel which would have to steal subscribers from competition and work hard to become the second SIM of preference.

However, mobile data penetration still shows some significant room for growth which may incite Mytel to focus its complete strategy on data. Bad news for Ooredoo.

It is still unclear at that point what Mytel pricing strategy will be and if the telecom regulator will let them go lower than current market prices.

According to a recent article, Mytel officially requested the right to give away SIM cards for free! Even if this demand is not approved, this sends a strong signal to the market that the new operator is decided to gain market share at any cost. We trust Mytel will be creative to find ways around the guidelines and manage to release aggressive promotions into the Myanmar market.

Ananda Livemore

After Mytel, Amara Communication is the second telecom provider to announce the launch of its 4G services in Myanmar this year.

Back in October 2016, Amara was awarded 20Mhz of 2.6Ghz spectrum. This allocation is a perfect fit for TDD-LTE, a technology used worldwide for 4G mobile broadband.

Note that Amara does not own a license for full fledge mobile services and will not be able to offer calls and SMS services like a mobile operator. The service will be limited to mobile broadband and any value added service sitting on top of broadband.

Amara is finally just another Internet service provider but a service provider that invested $123 million for a spectrum license available in only two regions. Therefore, the local consortium has an immense pressure to recover this investment. And its marketing launch clearly demonstrate that it is not playing in the same league than the existing service providers.

 

Giant billboards all over Yangon, outrageous launch party, the new 4G operator is definitely not from the same world. At least on paper.

Amara new brand is modestly called Ananda : Infinite in Myanmar. That is an inspiring marketing concept which definitely set some expectations considering mobile broadband is by essence limited. Limited in time and usually limited in volume. It will be interesting to see how Ananda will play around these limitations without making offense to its name.

From a technology perspective, Ananda will bring something unseen to the Burmese table. TDD-LTE is a mobile technology which is going to be used exclusively to build a broadband network. That means that the broadband service offered by Ananda will be mobile. It will probably take the shape of a mobile router or hotspot like the mobile operators currently sell in the market. But the plans sold on these new devices will be exclusively data-based. Customers could expect large plans with high speed that will allow them to replace their home broadband service.

Too little too late?

Ananda is late on schedule. Launch was expected months ago. Can it be fatal for the new comer?

If we look back, 2017 saw some significant change on the broadband market in Myanmar. These changes were beyond any reasonable forecast. It may be the reason why Yatanarpon decided to withdraw its application for 2.6ghz realizing the gigantic challenge it will be to break-even.

One year ago, broadband prices were 2-3 times what they are today and installation costs represented a big barrier to entry for home users. The market was divided between two technologies. Fiber which was reliable, fast but expensive to roll-out. With installation fees between $200 to $300, it definitely sets a barrier that was hard to cross for Myanmar consumers.

WiFi was therefore the technology of choice for quick and easy deployment. Still, setting up a WiFi point to multi-point service require the service provider to send a team for installation. The installation consists on an outdoor antenna on a pole cabled back to the customer apartment with a WiFi router to propagate the signal. This does not come cheap and installation cost varies between $80 to $150.

TDD-LTE on the other hand is a mobile technology and as such does not require any sort of installation. Consumer sign-up, bring its device home and can immediately enjoy Internet. That would have been a big market advantage for Amara one year ago.

Myanmar broadband price war

But the game has significantly changed in one year. Myanmar ISP’s got into a big price war, subsidizing the installation costs heavily. Some of the ISP’s in the market are on the verge to collapse and are desperately playing all in, taking inconsiderate risk to acquire and retain new customers.

The game has changed and Ananda is stepping into a battlefield with new rules. Since fiber providers are already giving installation for free, 4G big advantage fade away. Ananda cannot compete on price anymore and would have to adopt a different strategy if it wants to succeed.

Still, there is a big market opportunity for the new 4G comer if the execution is correct. Service quality, outstanding customer service, good technical support and new value added services such as IPTV and VoIP are lacking within the existing ISPs and should be the head lines to success.

 

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Myanmar Mobile Operators invest in 4G spectrum https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-4g-spectrum/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-4g-spectrum/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:23:21 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2324   It was in May 2017 that the mobile operators in Myanmar received a first allocation in the 1800Mhz band by the Posts and Telecommunications Department. 2x40Mhz were granted, 2x35Mhz left and offered on a first come first served basis. This initial spectrum grant provided a huge boost to the mobile data performance in Myanmar. Boost […]

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It was in May 2017 that the mobile operators in Myanmar received a first allocation in the 1800Mhz band by the Posts and Telecommunications Department. 2x40Mhz were granted, 2x35Mhz left and offered on a first come first served basis.

This initial spectrum grant provided a huge boost to the mobile data performance in Myanmar. Boost which reflected very clearly on the mobile speed reports for 2017.

Over the past few weeks, Telenor and then Ooredoo communicated on a new investment consisting on an additional 2x10Mhz span which extend their allocation to 2x20Mhz in total.

As of MPT, the public operator did not release any official statement but their latest press release suggest they did follow the same road. And they would be fool not to do the same.

In their last press release, MPT announced several network improvements enabling customers to enjoy mobile speed up to 300mbps. When we look at the figures, 300mbps could only be achieved by using a 2x20mhz span on LTE with 4x4MIMO and 64QAM which may suggest an additional allocation on their end.

Spectrum is the most valuable and precious resource for mobile data and has a significant and immediate impact on the throughput performance. By doubling their spectrum span, every operator has the theoretical capability to double 4G speed.

Price, Speed, Coverage

Recently we published an article about the evolution of mobile data prices in Myanmar. For the first time, mobile data prices have increased and every operator is aligned on very close price point.

It is still unclear at that stage if the mobile operators decided or were enticed by a public authority to not compete on price. Saying that, it is certainly good news on the long run as the mobile operators would have to work on new key selling points such as speed, coverage or value-added content.

And the latest press releases are going in that direction

Consecutively each of the mobile operators released a statement which whole purpose is to convince the customer that they each run the fastest but also the widest 4G network in Myanmar.

Award-winning LTE+ network

MPT was honored last year by the award of the fastest mobile data network in Myanmar and is proud to call itself since, the award-winning LTE+ network.

MPT released a very tech-savvy statement on its latest technology improvements. Thanks to VoLTE, MPT customers will now enjoy high quality calls on 4G. The public operator also powered up carrier aggregation in downtown Yangon that will allow customers with compatible handsets to benefit from higher Internet speed.

Coverage wise, MPT released a second statement announcing that its LTE+ network is available in 82 townships with a plan to extend to 280 townships by the end of 2018.

As of Telenor, the Norwegian operator reminded us that OpenSignal elected it last year the fastest 3G network in Myanmar. Telenor also announced that it already covered in 4G the 50 main cities in Myanmar which represent two-third of the urban population.

Ooredoo was the last to strike but definitely wanted to surpass competition at least on the coverage. It is a fact that the Qatar based operator has not much to say about mobile data speed. The last reports showed that Ooredoo lags behind Telenor and MPT in that matter. Coverage wise, Ooredoo proudly announced that it is by far the widest 4G network in Myanmar with two-third of the Myanmar townships covered (200 townships in total).

Smoke screen?

Even if we truly welcome the mobile operator efforts to bring high speed Internet everywhere in Myanmar, we cannot help questioning these statements and wondering what truth is really hiding behind it.

What does covering a township really mean for a mobile operator?

Does it involve providing steady and consistent LTE coverage across the entire township? Or simply lighting up one site for the sake of ticking a box on a coverage sheet?

Truth is probably somewhere in the middle…

Glimpse of reality, OpenSignal gives a cold view of the actual 4G activity all over Myanmar and one certainty is that the road is still long till Myanmar people enjoys the thrills of high speed mobile Internet across the country.

4G LTE LTE+ Coverage Myanmar Yangon MPT Telenor Ooredoo 3G Mobile Data
4G utilization in Myanmar is still very low compared to countries like India or Thailand

The mobile operators are working hard to improve connectivity. Lets just hope they will not lose themselves into trying to be the best in public relations. At the end of the day, Myanmar customers are not naive and will choose the provider offering consistent performance all along their daily journey commuting between work and home.

https://www.telenor.com.mm/pressReleasedetail/Telenor-Myanmar-pays-USD-80-million-to-double-its-4G-spectrum-capacity/1240

http://mpt.com.mm/en/faster-data-better-calls-everywhere-future-mpt-lte/

http://mpt.com.mm/en/mpt-lte-network-now-available-every-state-region-myanmar/

 

 

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In Myanmar, mobile data prices are on the rise https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-mobile-data-rise/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-mobile-data-rise/#comments Thu, 28 Dec 2017 15:42:15 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2290   It is the end of the year, the time to celebrate and the mobile operators have decided to greet us with a very special Christmas gift! Yes indeed, one after the other, the mobile operators revised their data plans and adjusted them… on the rise. First, Ooredoo put an end to Data Paung Kuu […]

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It is the end of the year, the time to celebrate and the mobile operators have decided to greet us with a very special Christmas gift!

Yes indeed, one after the other, the mobile operators revised their data plans and adjusted them… on the rise.

First, Ooredoo put an end to Data Paung Kuu which was launched back in February 2017. Since then, Paung Kuu were the cheapest data packs in the market with a blended rate of 1,2Ks per MB.

Paung Kuu was quite popular among heavy users thanks to its XL packs ranged up to 130GB.

The XL trend was actually launched by Telenor a few days before Paung Kuu was born. The Norwegian operator launched Data Parcel scaled up to 120GB but finally decided to put a step back and replaced Parcel with Data Suboo which offer less data but still at a very attractive price. At least at that time.

In December, Telenor also decided to revise the price of its Suboo packs and once again price is on the rise with a blended price very close to Ooredoo.

Telenor is giving you the change on your 1000Ks bill

Telenor took also the opportunity to launch a new bundle called Suboo RCV. There is no delicate way to say this but Suboo RCV is nothing else than a scam. And not a very smart one. Looks by yourself:

On one hand, you can buy Data Suboo 500MB for 799Ks. On the other hand, if you spend 1000Ks for this coupon called Data Suboo RCV, you will receive 500MB and 201Ks talk. When you look at the math, this bundle has absolutely no value.

Colorful pack was the name of MPT daily and monthly data packages at the beginning of the year. It was rapidly reduced to one flavor: daily. New monthly packages were launched in September: Data Carry allows customers to rollover unused data from a month to another.

In December, MPT removed Data Carry from the market and launched new packages called Cashback Data Packs.

Are you still reading?

If you find mobile data pricing in Myanmar difficult to follow, it is because it is. Messy, dirty, sneaky, the mobile operators are fighting fire with fire, promotions after promotions, launching and shutting down promotions as ephemeral as they can be.

It is very surprising and unprecedented to see prices going for a rise. This month, all the operators have revamped and completely aligned their data packs on a blended rate between 1,6Ks to 1,7Ks per MB.

This price adjustment may have been requested by the regulator in an effort to avoid a price war which can be destructive for the market.

Quick and dirty

This hypothesis is concurred by the odd price structure of these new plans. For instance, Telenor price per MB is absolutely not digressive.

Mobile Data Packages Myanmar December 2017 MPT Telenor Ooredoo

To sweeten the pill of this price increase, Ooredoo and MPT came up with a new trick: a cashback promotion. When the customer activate a mobile data package, he gets the package value back in a separate bonus wallet (that is the trick).

If you look at the footnote, this wallet has a very limited validity (5 days for MPT and 7 days for Ooredoo) and is only valid for pay as you go data. Downsell opportunity is therefore quite limited for the mobile operator. This is purely a marketing trick that bring limited value for money for the customer.

To finish on a positive note, mobile operators in Myanmar are actively working on upgrading their network to provide higher speed to their customers. Considering the current consensus price-wise, network performance will be key for those looking to increase their market share.

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Residential Unlimited Internet Plans – December 2017 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/residential-unlimited-broadband-myanmar-december-2017/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/residential-unlimited-broadband-myanmar-december-2017/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:13:00 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2260 Back in January 2017, we released one of our first broadband price comparison. Who would have foreseen that one year after, we will be standing there with a completely new and terrifying picture? Twelve months ago, 2 mbps home broadband was priced slightly above 100,000 Ks per month. Prices have been divided by half and […]

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Back in January 2017, we released one of our first broadband price comparison.

Who would have foreseen that one year after, we will be standing there with a completely new and terrifying picture?

Twelve months ago, 2 mbps home broadband was priced slightly above 100,000 Ks per month. Prices have been divided by half and the fall is even more stunning on bigger packages.

Nowadays, 4 mbps is the new standard for broadband in Myanmar. Unilink has the cheapest price for 4 mbps broadband: 54,000Ks per month. The fiber provider not only prices cheap but also run a very aggressive acquisition strategy. Look by yourself:

Unilink charges 200,000Ks one time charge for those who subscribe month on month.

If you sign-up for one year, Unilink waives completely installation charges and even give you 2 months for free.

For those under an existing contract with a competitor, Unilink is ready to give you unconditional free installation! Even if you subscribe for one month. This is how determined the service provider is to steal customers from competition.

And this is not the only one.

5BB is one of the new ISP of 2017. Not really new as it is finally just a rebrand of the legendary famous Redlink.

5BB launched a wide range of promotions destined for fast acquisition. For the smallest plans, 5BB offers 3 to 6 months free with an annual commitment. For the largest plans, installation fees are completely waived. 5BB also owns some of the most attractive plans in the market.

Service providers in Myanmar have also stepped up their game when it comes to branding. Unilink and 5BB being the two ISPs with the most good looking marketing material. A big step forward in less than a year.

5BB ISP Myanmar FTTH
5BB Christmas Promotion
Unilink ISP Myanmar FTTH
Unilink Facebook Cover Photo

With the emergence of this new competition, it would be easy to forget Myanmarnet. Frontiir B2C arm is still one of the largest Internet consumer base in Myanmar thanks to a very dense Wifi network in Yangon. The provider also reduced its prices to match competition and owns the lowest pricepoint for an unlimited plan: 1mbps for 16,000Ks. Hard to beat.

As for MPT and Telenor, though their price for FTTH are extremely attractive, coverage remains very limited. MPT promised to rapidly expand the service availability but we are yet to see any official announcement from the public operator.

Ooredoo also launched its broadband service which is for now solely available in Mandalay. The Qatar-based operator is leveraging Yatanarpon Teleport broadband infrastructure to service customers in Mandalay.

Ooredoo Mandalay FTTX FTTH Yatanarpon
Ooredoo Broadband Plans in Mandalay

Fight to survive

The broadband market in Myanmar has reached an unprecedented level of aggressiveness. As we pointed out in our previous article back in September, service providers in Myanmar are putting themselves at risk.

ISP in Myanmar are building expensive fiber networks that are only sustainable if they reach a critical mass of customers and a dense penetration among their fiber nodes.

In addition, every new customer comes at a cost of acquisition which is non negligible. According to our sources, connecting one FTTH customer would cost the service provider between US $100-200.

By waiving installation fees, ISPs make a bet. A bet that the customer will be faithful long enough to recover their investment.

From a financial standpoint, subsidizing a B2C service in an emerging market sounds like an extremely risky business. Setting up the scene in a market highly volatile where the customer is keen to succumb to the luring sirens of any flashy advertising and you would end up with a perfect recipe for bankrupt.

In this giant poker game, most of the ISPs have decided to put “all in” and it goes without a doubt that some of them are not going to survive another year.

Finally, a well deserved Christmas present, this is the broadband price comparison updated for December 2017.

Unlimited ftth fttx wifi yangon myanmar broadband consumer customer 5bb unilink mpt telenor ooredoo

Note that 1 mbps plans were cropped for aesthetic reasons.

 

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OpenSignal unveils Myanmar mobile coverage maps https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/opensignal-myanmar-mobile-coverage/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/opensignal-myanmar-mobile-coverage/#respond Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:00:45 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2244 Have you ever wondered which mobile operator has the best performance in your city? Which operator has a better coverage over your home? And your office? Today, we are going to introduce you to a very useful tool: OpenSignal. Opensignal build real up to date coverage map of mobile networks all across the world. To […]

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Have you ever wondered which mobile operator has the best performance in your city?

Which operator has a better coverage over your home? And your office?

Today, we are going to introduce you to a very useful tool: OpenSignal.

Opensignal build real up to date coverage map of mobile networks all across the world. To achieve this, the London-based service do not rely on mobile operator data but simply use your smartphone.

Opensignal app is available for iOS and Android. Created in 2010, it is now used by more than 20 millions of users all over the world. The app gives you access not only to Opensignal mobile coverage map but also provide useful details on the mobile network performance such as the average download rate for a specific area per technology (2G/3G or 4G LTE). Opensignal app also includes a feature to find and connect to free public Wi-Fi.

Opensignal data is crowd-sourced which mean that every user agrees to contribute to the service. Once you download an install the app, Opensignal will automatically start collecting various information on your phone background such as the mobile signal strength. The amount of data uploaded is very small but if you are still worry about your mobile bill, it is possible to set the app to only upload data using WiFi. As the service is constantly monitoring the customer experience, OpenSignal map is the most accurate source of information when it comes to mobile coverage.

The app also embeds a Speedtest service. Every time you run a speedtest, results are uploaded on Opensignal and contribute to the statistics.

In Myanmar, OpenSignal data collection is already impressive

Thanks to Opensignal, you can find out for example that only Telenor has 4G in Kalaw, that Ooredoo 4G is nearly non existent in Myeik, or that none of the mobile operators have deployed 4G yet in Hakha.

Besides mobile coverage, the app also displays the average mobile speed per operator. Unfortunately, the feature is not available everywhere in Myanmar due to the lack of data.

According to Opensignal, Telenor has the fastest mobile data network in Yangon whereas MPT is faster in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.

Naypyidaw Network Stats
Mandalay Network Stats
Yangon Network Stats

The app is overall extremely user friendly and easy to use. For those travelling all around Myanmar, Opensignal will be a perfect road companion to stay connected and enjoy fast data service everywhere you are.

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Which Internet Service Provider in Myanmar is blacklisted? https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/service-provider-blacklist-spam-myanmar/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/service-provider-blacklist-spam-myanmar/#comments Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:44:21 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2213 Internet in Myanmar, this love story is only a few year old and it is amazing how fast Myanmar people adopt a digital centric lifestyle. In Yangon, Internet service providers are fiercely competing on prices, fighting promotions with promotions to step foot into Myanmar households and push mobile data to the streets. As mobile operators […]

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Internet in Myanmar, this love story is only a few year old and it is amazing how fast Myanmar people adopt a digital centric lifestyle.

In Yangon, Internet service providers are fiercely competing on prices, fighting promotions with promotions to step foot into Myanmar households and push mobile data to the streets. As mobile operators reach market saturation in the city, they strive after nationwide 4G coverage. High speed Internet is no more a privilege of urban citizens but a reality for most of Myanmar people.

Myanmar is rapidly catching up on its Asian neighbors at least from a connectivity standpoint.

As the euphoria of novelty slowly fade away, Myanmar realize that Internet is not just a dream come true. It is also a dangerous place. And sadly, dangers already invade Myanmar homes and smartphones.

According to a recent article from Myanmar Times, most of the consumers in Myanmar trust what they see and read online. Myanmar people are also more open to share personal data online. This candid attitude represent a big opportunity for brands but also for hackers that see Myanmar as a fertile soil to grow their strike force.

Lately on the news, Turkish hackers violently attack Myanmar government websites protesting against the conflict in Rakhine. These attacks are just the visible face of the iceberg.

As Myanmar consumers slowly transit from smartphones to laptops, most of the computers sold in Myanmar come without a Windows license to save a few bucks on the final bill. Consumers do not always realize that installing a pirated version of Windows on your computer is similar to leaving your front door open with a big welcome sign.

Have you ever wondered where all the spam that infest your mailbox come from?

How do spammers manage to find your email address?

There are multiple ways for spammers to collect mail addresses:

First, spammers scavenge webpages hunting for email addresses that appear in html code. If you have ever shared your email address on a forum or a public webpage, you are definitely in the spammer databases.

But the main source of email addresses come from large security breaches that happen very regularly on the Internet.

Over the past few years, large companies like Adobe, Linkedin, Sony, Yahoo or Last.fm have all been compromised. These security breaches give hackers access to hundreds of millions of mail accounts and passwords. The last database leak in August 2017 was the largest ever: 700 million accounts fell into the hands of hackers due to a misconfigured spambot.

Wonder if your mail address has been compromised? visit the website https://haveibeenpwned.com/. Keep in mind that these security breaches may also have leaked your password.

But where does spam come from?

“Two years from now, spam will be solved,” That was Bill Gates said in 2004. While spams have effectively started to decline in 2011, they are on the rise again since 2015.

In the first quarter of 2017, 55.9% of the total mail traffic was spam according to securelist. That is a huge amount of emails. So how do spammers manage to send so many emails?

Spam delivery is distributed

The main reason spam is so hard to intercept is that it could come from everywhere including your own computer.  Nowadays, most of spam spread via botnets. Botnet is “a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge”.

According to spamhaus, the most infected countries by botnets are China, India, Russia and Vietnam. Myanmar is 90th which does not seem worrying. However, if we look at the rank per capita, Myanmar ends up 20th. This is more alarming considering this data is computed on the total population and not the total penetrated population which would obviously be lower for Myanmar than for the rest of the world.

Services of such spam botnets are advertised on underground hacking forums, the Dark Web, via XMPP spam, or on sites available on the public Internet.

Once your computer gets infected with a botnet, it will immediately start blasting emails all over the place leveraging the large email databases gathered over years by hackers. Most of the large mail providers use spam filtering systems as an attempt to filter out all the trash sent by botnets. But obviously these filters show their limits.

There are basically two methods to filter spams.

The first type is content-based. Spam filters analyse email content and look for words that hit a “spam dictionary”. The word-list is built up from existing spam records and will contain the usual suspects. Ex: “viagra”, “rolex”.

Heuristic filtering go one step further and assign a score to each email by scanning and allocating points to each word based on its likeliness to be found in spam messages.

Machine learning techniques are also widely used to filter spams.  Bayesian filtering are one of them and use statistics and “training” to spot and trash spam.

The second type of filtering is list-based. Blacklists are records dynamically built and updated by security companies that contain emails as well as IPs, subnets and Autonomous System known as source of spam.

These blacklists are also fed through spam traps. Spam traps are email addresses that are released intentionally on the internet. Spam traps are real but invalid address under existing domains.

Example: honeypot@internetinmyanmar.com is a spam trap. There is no real user behind and is just left here hoping spammers will screen this webpage and catch it. Behind this mail address, a script will automatically screen for incoming emails and blacklist the sender.

Which service provider in Myanmar is blacklisted and why does it matter?

Even if your home or corporate network is protected and you know for granted that you do not host any botnet, you may end up in a blacklist. The main reason is that blacklists not only include single hosts but subnets and autonomous system as well.

On the Internet, an autonomous system (AS) is the unit of router policy, either a single network or a group of networks that is controlled by a common network administrator (or group of administrators) on behalf of a single administrative entity (such as a university, a business enterprise, or a business division).

Usually service providers are recognized over the Internet via their AS and their public subnets.

ISP’s subnets can host thousands and even millions of subscribers. Thanks to a feature called Carrier-Grade NAT, service providers can work around the public IP addresses scarcity by pooling huge number of subscribers behind a small pool of public IP addresses.

But what if some of the subscribers get infected?

If a few subscribers behind the NAT get infected, the public pool will get blacklisted as well as all the subscribers behind it. No matter if they are botnets or not.

Spam filter go even further than that. Filters consider AS and public subnets are one unique area which is under the service provider responsibility. Spam filter can decide to blacklist an entire public subnet or AS, may some of the IPs addresses inside these subnets broadcast spams. They consider the service provider to be liable to mitigate this spam issue.

Service providers do have means to address and eliminate spam issues. Most of the ISP’s block outbound port 25 on their network for this exact same reason. Port 25 is the legacy SMTP port used by all the botnets to propagate spam. Problem is that it can also be used by legit customers that connect to (antic) corporate mail servers. To address this issue, service providers usually allow customers inside their network to use their carrier-grade SMTP gateway to send mail outside the network. This gateway should be carefully protected with Antivirus and Spam filtering system to avoid being blacklisted.

What is the consequence of being blacklisted?

As a home user, there is absolutely no consequence of being blacklisted. The main reason is that you will never use your home broadband as a mail gateway. Except if you are infected.

If you use a webmail (Gmail, Yahoo Mail…), all your emails will be crafted directly on your provider mail server and sent out from there.

If you use a mail client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, you will more likely use SMPT with authentication against your provider mail server. As you authenticate, you will be recognized as a legit mail sender and not categorized as spam.

IP/Subnet blacklisting become a major concern for those who host their own mail server which could be the case for corporate customers.

Any mail server sitting on a blacklisted network will have serious challenge to deliver emails to other domains (i.e. everyone outside the company). This can represent a business risk for any organization. Spam filter sometimes let suspicious emails go through with a simple **SPAM** headline. But most of the time and especially for blacklisted IPs, filters drop emails without informing the sender or the recipient. This could have have a deep impact on a business activity.

So what are the networks blacklisted in Myanmar?

UCE Protect is a German company that offers blacklist services built on spam traps to mail providers. We decided to test every AS and prefixes in Myanmar against their blacklists.

Based on this study, we divided ISP in Myanmar into 3 categories: Blacklisted – At Risk – Secured.

Blacklisted:

  • Ooredoo Myanmar
  • Telenor Myanmar
  • Myanma Posts and Telecommunications
  • Myanmar Broadband Telecom Co., Ltd
  • Elite Telecom Public Company Limited
  • Shwe Than Lwin Media Co.,Ltd.
  • 5BB Broadband

At Risk:

  • Global Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Yatanarpon Teleport Company Limited
  • Kinetic Myanmar Technology
  • Fortune International Ltd.
  • AGB Communication Co.Ltd
  • Horizon Telecom International Company Limited
  • Myanmar Unilink Communication Company Limited
  • Myanmar Country Co., Ltd.

Secured:

  • Frontiir Co. Ltd / Myanmar Net
  • Golden TMH Telecom Co. Ltd
  • WeLink
  • Spectrum Life Company Limited
  • Myanmar Information Highway Limited
  • Myanmar Speed Net Co.,Ltd

Surprisingly, all the mobile operators are blacklisted in Myanmar. This is mainly due to the enormous number of subscribers sitting behind their IP’s. Without proper security filtering in place, blacklist is inevitable.

In conclusion, blacklisting clearly suggests a lack of security awareness among ISP’s in Myanmar and may underlie severe security issues. For service providers in the red zone, it is time to step up their game and implement the security measures to protect their customers.

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Ooredoo to launch 4G Pro in Myanmar https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/ooredoo-launch-4g-pro-myanmar/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/ooredoo-launch-4g-pro-myanmar/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 16:10:06 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2198 Ooredoo has announced yesterday a massive upgrade on its mobile network all over Myanmar. According to the press release, more than 15 million customers across 200 towns will be able to enjoy high speed 4G by end of 2017. The new technology baptized “4G Pro” is said to be three time faster than the existing […]

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Ooredoo has announced yesterday a massive upgrade on its mobile network all over Myanmar.

According to the press release, more than 15 million customers across 200 towns will be able to enjoy high speed 4G by end of 2017.

The new technology baptized “4G Pro” is said to be three time faster than the existing 4G technology currently deployed in Myanmar.

Last month, Ooredoo was sadly elected the slowest network in Myanmar well behind MPT and Telenor according to a report from Speednet.net. The Qatar-based operator is determined to turn this corner and start a fresh page with this massive network upgrade.

Ooredoo announces that its new network will allow customers to enjoy Internet as fast as 500 mbps. To reach such speed, the mobile operator is relying on the latest LTE-Advanced technology features such as carrier aggregation, 256QAM, 4×4 MIMO and License Assisted Access (LAA).

Carrier aggregation:

This is one of the major features of LTE-Advanced which allows mobile network operators to combine a number of separate LTE carriers.

Last year, Ooredoo launched 4G by refarming its 3G spectrum allocation in 2100Mhz. Our assumption is that the mobile operator allocated 2x5Mhz for its 4G launch.

In 2017, PTD allocated the three operators an additional span of 2x10mhz in 1800Mhz enabling them to launch or re-launch their 4G network.

Carrier aggregation will enable Ooredoo to combine spectrum in 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz to provide higher throughput to customers who own compatible handsets.

256QAM:

QAM refers to Quadrature Amplitude Modulation which is the means by which a carrier signal transmits data and information. 16-QAM, 64-QAM, and 256-QAM are all related to LTE. Higher QAM schemes such as 1024-QAM are now being considered for the future evolution of LTE/LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G.

The higher the QAM, the higher the throughput. Once again, customers that want to take best advantage of this feature will need a compatible smartphone.

4×4 MIMO:

In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO, is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas to exploit multipath propagation.

MPT already advertised widely to be the first 4×4 MIMO network in Myanmar. Ooredoo with this new press release claim that it will compete on equal terms with MPT, at least on paper.

License Assisted Access (LAA):

This is an interesting feature and previously unseen in the market. License Assisted Access is an LTE feature that leverages the 5 GHz unlicensed band in combination with licensed spectrum to deliver a performance boost for mobile device users.

71 times the average mobile speed on Ooredoo network

Thanks to the new toys, Ooredoo bold claim is to reach an impressive speed of 500 mbps… Which is basically 71 times the average mobile speed on Ooredoo if we trust the recent statistics from Speedtest.net.

According to the LTE calculation tool from the blog the 8 layers, we managed to cross check this statement. It appears that to reach 500 mbps of throughput with 4×4 MIMO and 256QAM, the mobile operator will have to aggregate a span of 2x20mhz. Knowing that the operator owns only 2x10Mhz in 1800mhz, it will have to find an additional chunk of 2x10mhz somewhere else. This could come from its diverse allocations in 900mhz or 2100mhz boosted by unlicensed spectrum.

According to the press release, Nokia and ZTE have the hard task to deliver the promises done by Mr. Vikram Sinha, CEO of Ooredoo Myanmar that declared to the press:

“Our goal is to enable our customers to enjoy the internet more by offering them higher speeds and enhancing their daily data experience. Our continuous investments in the network bring us closer to making the highest theoretical speeds a daily reality to our customers and put Ooredoo Myanmar on an evolutionary path to 5G.”

It is with high curiosity and an ounce of skepticism that we are looking forward to benchmark this new 4G network. Will Ooredoo turn into Santa this year?

Sources:

Evolution of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation

MIMO – Wikipedia

Ericsson License Assisted Access

With 256-QAM, what’s good for the small cell is good for the macro

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Ooredoo enters Myanmar broadband market https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/ooredoo-myanmar-broadband/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/ooredoo-myanmar-broadband/#respond Sat, 21 Oct 2017 13:37:42 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2179   Ooredoo announced today that it has entered a strategic partnership with Yatanarpon Teleport to provide broadband services across Myanmar. Yatanarpon Teleport is one of the first service providers in the country and offer broadband services for consumers and corporates in Yangon, Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin. On the news this year, the ISP withdrawn […]

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Ooredoo announced today that it has entered a strategic partnership with Yatanarpon Teleport to provide broadband services across Myanmar.

Yatanarpon Teleport is one of the first service providers in the country and offer broadband services for consumers and corporates in Yangon, Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin.

On the news this year, the ISP withdrawn its winning application for 2.6Ghz LTE spectrum and decided to focus on FTTH.

Over the past few months, the service provider significantly reduced its consumer broadband pricing to compete with the emergence of new service providers.

At that stage, it is still unclear what this partnership will mean for Ooredoo and YTP. According to the press release, both companies will unite their effort to provide the best Internet services in the country. The service will be available in the cities already covered by YTP network from November 1st and rapidly expand all over the country.

U Soe Thein, CEO YTP said “This is a milestone in Myanmar’s telecom industry with best players from related industries coming together to offer superfast internet services to the people of Myanmar”.

Mr. Vikram Sinha, CEO Ooredoo Myanmar remarked “We are happy to partner with YTP – Myanmar’s reputed ISP, to bring the best technology and services to the country. I am sure that this partnership will set new benchmarks in areas of fiber service delivery and new product availability for many years to come, demonstrating Ooredoo Myanmar’s long term commitment to the country

VNO model or white label?

A valid hypothesis would be to see Ooredoo leverage YTP network infrastructure to provide Internet services on a VNO model.

One year ago, Telenor launched its broadband services into Myanmar. The announcement came along with an aggressive pricing that redefined the price for broadband in Myanmar.

A few months after, MPT re-launched its FTTH services on a similar price range. The offer was first only available in Pabedan township.  Earlier this week, MPT announced that the offer will be available in Mandalay and expanded to new townships in Yangon starting next month.

Thanks to its partnership with YTP, Ooredoo also make an entrance into the broadband market. The Qatar-based operator is decided to not let competition with one step ahead.

With this welcome addition to their portfolio, mobile operators in Myanmar are rapidly converging to quad play catching up on mature markets in APAC.

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Myanmar opens consultation for E-GSM spectrum https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-consultation-900mhz-e-gsm/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/myanmar-consultation-900mhz-e-gsm/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:31:58 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2160 In May 2017, mobile operators in Myanmar were offered the possibility to acquire 2x10Mhz in 1800Mhz. This precious spectrum allowed them to launch / re-launch 4G nationwide. Since then, the average mobile Internet speed in Myanmar jumped from 7mbps to 12mbps (see the recent report from Ookla). Mobile operators are progressively deploying their new 4G network […]

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In May 2017, mobile operators in Myanmar were offered the possibility to acquire 2x10Mhz in 1800Mhz. This precious spectrum allowed them to launch / re-launch 4G nationwide.

Since then, the average mobile Internet speed in Myanmar jumped from 7mbps to 12mbps (see the recent report from Ookla).

Mobile operators are progressively deploying their new 4G network in Myanmar main cities. Effects are immediately visible for Myanmar consumers that can finally enjoy high speed Internet. At least within the urban areas.

Where 1800Mhz is a good fit for urban deployment, it is not cost effective for rural coverage. Mobile operators still have a lot on their plate to provide high speed Internet all over the country and especially in remote areas.

To support these coverage efforts, Myanmar Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) opened a consultation for the allocation of E-GSM spectrum. E-GSM matches LTE band 8 and therefore can be used to extend 4G coverage.

At the current stage of allocation, Ooredoo, Telenor and Mytel own respectively 2x5Mhz where MPT owns 2x10Mhz.

Myanmar LTE Spectrum 4G E-GSM Yangon MPT Ooredoo Telenor TNL OML Mytel Viettel

Earlier this year, Telenor and Ooredoo were granted temporarily an additional span of 2×2.5Mhz. This temporary allocation will expire in February 2018 when the E-GSM allocation will more likely be granted.

In total, 2x10Mhz in 900mhz will be made available next year. Saying that, PTD may decide to keep 2.5mhz as a guard band to avoid interference. The remaining spectrum of 2×7.5mhz could be auctioned in two flavors. First option could be 3 allocations of 2×2.5mhz, second option would be one allocation of 2×2.5Mhz and one of 2x5mhz.

Myanmar LTE Spectrum 4G E-GSM Yangon MPT Ooredoo Telenor TNL OML Mytel Viettel
Option 2 may give Ooredoo 2x10Mhz span in 900Mhz

Note that considering the current spectrum allocation, only Ooredoo would be able to get contiguous spectrum with its existing allocation.

The consultation looks open at the moment, PTD expecting the mobile operators to share their intentions regarding this new spectrum. The main takeaway is that 900mhz will not be sufficient to support the four mobile operators needs when it comes to 4G deployment in rural areas.

700Mhz in approach

The consultation ends by mentioning that a new band will be open soon for consultation. Band 28 (700Mhz) sees a growing popularity across the globe and could represent a decent consolation prize for those that would give a pass on E-GSM.

Over the past few years, the telecom sector in Myanmar has seen a very steady growth. It is key to understand the major role played by Myanmar PTD in this growth. By opening the dialogue with the mobile operators, anticipating needs, and sharing a clear spectrum roadmap, PTD instigates a constructive approach of mutual benefits for all parties.

Source: MOTC Website

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Sponsored: Ooredoo launches the lowest data rate in Myanmar https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/phalan-phalan/ https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/phalan-phalan/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:21:21 +0000 https://www.internetinmyanmar.com/?p=2152 Phalan Phalan is back with a bang at only 5Ks per MB anytime (day or night)! That’s right, Phalan Phalan is back and it’s still the fastest Internet in Myanmar but now it’s also the lowest rate in the country. You can surf the internet as much and as long as you want for only […]

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Phalan Phalan is back with a bang at only 5Ks per MB anytime (day or night)!

That’s right, Phalan Phalan is back and it’s still the fastest Internet in Myanmar but now it’s also the lowest rate in the country. You can surf the internet as much and as long as you want for only 5Ks per MB. Phalan Phalan can be used anytime (day or night) and also It is the best value when compared to other operator’s lowest rates which are 6Ks per MB and 8Ks per MB.

Ooredoo customers can activate Phalan Phalan by dialing *555# and there is no activation or subscription fee.

New Ooredoo customers will enjoy Phalan Phalan automatically.

Phalan Phalan is fully compatible with the existing Ooredoo Paung Kuu packs. Customers whith ongoing Paung Kuu packs can activate Phalan Phalan. They will be charged 5Ks per MB after their Paung Kuu pack exhausts.

Phalan Phalan is a welcome addition to Ooredoo Internet plans and packs and reinforce the mobile operator position as the leading mobile data provider in the country.

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