There are now three submarine cables landing in Myanmar, SEA-ME-WE 3 (SMW3), SEA-ME-WE 5 (SMW5) and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1).
Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), the incumbent telecom operator in Myanmar, is the landing party in Myanmar for the SMW5 and SMW3 cable systems. MPT lands SMW3 at the Pyapon Cable Landing Station, and SMW5 at the Ngwe Saung Cable Landing Station.
China Unicom is the landing party in Myanmar for the AAE-1 cable system. China Unicom lands AAE-1 at the Ngwe Saung Cable Landing Station.
NTT's subsidiary Orient Link is buildign the Myanmar/Malaysia India Singapore Transit (MIST) cable system, which is designed to land in Myanmar.
In addition to submarine cables, there are various terrestrial cables connecting Myanmar, including
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Myanmar, there are four categories of telecommunication licenses: NFS(Individual)/NFS(I), NS, NFS(Class)/NFS(C) and AS.
NFS (I) and NS licenses require application and approval. AS and NFS (C) license require only registration. ISPs can start operating under AS license simply by reselling connectivity, and also build dark fiber etc under NFS (C).
In September 2016, the Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) under the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) of Myanmar issued Guidelines on Provision of International Gateway Services (Guidelines), accepting applications from additional foreign owned operators in a move that further liberalises the country’s International Gateway (IGW) licensing policy. In the past, the PTD did not accept applications for IGW licenses from foreign companies, except for the IGW licenses which were provided to Ooredoo and Telenor as part of the 2012-2013 tender.
Pursuant to the Guidelines, International Gateway services may only be provided when authorized by a NFS (I) license or NFS (I) license modification approved as specified in Licensing Rules. So, as a rule, one must already hold an NFS (I) license to apply for an IGW license. As of July 2020, the PTD has issued more than 70 Network Facilities Service (Individual) licenses to domestic and international carriers.
The authorized IGW licensee may construct and operate, on a non-exclusive basis:
(a) International transmission capacity, using any kind of network and any form of transmission technology, between places outside Myanmar and the relevant cable landing station or cross-border transit facility or radio communications facility in Myanmar;
(b) Cable landing stations or cross border transit facility or Terrestrial Cable Station;
(c) VSAT devices;
(d) International gateway facilities;
(e) Facilities ancillary to the facilities required for provision of the international gateway services, such as a customer support center, billing systems or an intelligent network platform.