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Myanmar's telco revolution opens new chapter

Content key as country's focus turns to unlocking services

A crowd of festival goers jostle to film a performance on their smartphones in Yangon. (Photo by Steve Gilmore)

YANGON -- Myanmar is three years into a telecoms boom that has changed the physical and technological landscape of the country with unparalleled speed. Since the sector was opened to foreign competition in 2014, thousands of mobile towers have sprung up around the country and more than 30,000km of fiber cable has been connected. Mobile penetration has jumped from 10% to well over 70%, while internet speeds have soared and data usage has increased 1,500 times over.

The first phase was infrastructure. The second phase now taking off is a race to create online content and services to provide consumers with everything from Korean TV dramas and Myanmar pop music to medical support and education.

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