by Mario Querner, VP Asia for Newtec
Myanmar has all the ingredients for a bright satellite market. There is enormous potential, the scope of which I only fully came to realize following a successful communications technology, enterprise and convergence solutions show in the country last week called CommuniCast.
During the event the deputy minister of Myanmar’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MICT) U Thaung Tin said that it had targeted over 80 percent coverage and over 90 percent population coverage of mobile penetration within the next five years. While achievable, it is certainly ambitious to be setting such goals.
I was in Yangon, with my colleagues from Eutelsat, to speak on the role satellite technology can play in both video distribution and data connectivity via satellite to help realize the government’s targets. Amongst other industry players I also joined the broadband panel at Myanmar Satellite Forum 2014. We looked at cases from around the world as well as the latest technology developments to see how Eutelsat’s birds in the sky and our modems and modulators on the ground can really improve connectivity and therefore quality of life in Myanmar.
Opening the Floodgates
Today, 250 million homes worldwide receive channels via Eutelsat satellites and three billion people watch TV thanks to Newtec’s technology. It is safe to say that we expect to see a real surge in demand for mobile and video services driven by new TV providers and economic development, combined with higher consumer demand for infotainment and mobile connectivity.
Some of the exceptional developments in telecommunications of the last 20 years are just now beginning to be felt in Myanmar and there is a real feeling of excitement in the country. Fortunately a new standard for efficient satellite transmission is now available which, together with new video encoding schemes, will provide the tools for a more connected Myanmar. I believe we will see the floodgates open in the coming years with satellite being the most effective means to provide high speed access to the population reliably everywhere.
Raising the Standard of Communication
Satellite is often the only technology available to immediately secure and restore communication, provide international connectivity for voice and data services and support cellular backhaul for mobile communications in remote and rural areas.
With DVB launching its all new DVB-S2X standard this year, which results in 15-30 percent efficiency gain in a typical distribution network, the timing for an opening of the floodgates could not be better. Technology continues to advance, meaning better connectivity for broadcasters, consumers and enterprises in Myanmar. Combined with other advanced transmission technologies, such as Newtec Equalink® Pre-distortion and DVB multistream operation, network optimizations can result in doubling the capacity at the same OPEX. Simply put, this means that the new consumer, enterprise and governmental applications in Myanmar will be able to make the most of capacity available over the country.
Eutelsat Sees a Bright Future
At the event I was fortunate to be presenting with my colleagues at Eutelsat, who had equally positive attitude towards the future of the industry. I noted down some of Charles Disneur, Regional Commercial and Marketing Manager, Eutelsat Asia’s comments.
"The way to success requires support from reliable partners as well as an individual approach on a case-by-case basis – but I would say satellite in general is in a great position to meet growing demand in Myanmar.
We are seeing massive growth in the number of mobile subscribers, which is set to expand further to reach 50 percent market penetration in the next five years. Satellite will be essential to provide the throughput required to meet demand for this and the goals set by the Myanmar government. We are pleased to be able to play an important role in helping to connect Myanmar," said Disneur.