Myanmar’s online liberation

On a blazing Sunday afternoon, on the outskirts of Myanmar’s financial capital,thousands of people made their way to a football field, filling up the streets and almost bringing traffic to a standstill. Mostly wearing red shirts that they paired with longyis (traditional Myanmar attire), they eagerly waited for the arrival of the National League of […]

Rental gap narrows as Yangonites seek suburbia

High rental costs downtown, allied with cramped accommodation, congestion and noise, are driving business and residential tenants out into the suburbs, pushing up rental costs in the leafier areas of the city. Recent strides in the mobile phone and internet industry have made communication cheaper, acting as a push factor toward suburban development, said property […]

A nation in a chrysalis

Paranoia surrounding security isn’t palpable in Yangon. Passing the immigration counter at Yangon international airport, and with it the completely unfounded fear of being deported on arrival, I reach the Telenor counter for a SIM card. I am ready with my photo and ID-proof documents, but all that the teenaged boy at the counter takes […]

Momolay wants to take on Facebook in Myanmar, bags funding to take a shot at it

Myanmar is not an easy place to do business. Poor infrastructure, a highly unskilled labor pool, and an outdated financial system are only some of the challenges weighing on this once military junta-controlled nation. However, many investors are willing to overlook the negatives for fear of missing out on the vast opportunities Myanmar offers. The […]

Yonder & Beyond Lists MySQUAR on AIM with Market Capitalisation of $27.6 Million

On July 1 MySQUAR, a Myanmar-language social media platform, listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) after raising £1.67 million ($2.57 million). On listing MySQUAR had a market capitalisation of £18 million. Sydney-based technology venture firm Yonder & Beyond owns 4,133,303 MySQUAR shares, valued at A$845,000 ($632,457) on listing which represents a value up-lift of […]

Telecoms in Myanmar: Mobile mania

On the outskirts of Bago, a scruffy town in southern Myanmar, a tall, pale Scandinavian-looking man squints up at a four-legged telecoms mast that has recently sprouted next to a mud track. He is Petter Furberg, the boss of the Burmese operations of Telenor, a Norwegian mobile-telecoms operator. He concludes that more towers will be […]

Phone Smuggling Goes Unabated as SIM Card Sales Soar

Amid rapid network expansion and increasing SIM card sales from Myanmar’s three telecom players, legally imported mobile handsets are slim in number in a market overwhelmed by smuggled devices, a government official said. Mobile handsets entering the country via air, sea or overland channels were previously subject to 10 percent custom tariff, 5 percent commercial […]

Myanmar’s Telegram System Still Active

Despite the arrival of modern technology, an older form of communication is alive and well. On a street stacked block by block with colonial British buildings, the Government Telegraph Office doesn’t particularly stand out. Like so many of its neighbors, the façade is grimy and crumbling. There always seems to be a soft trickle of […]

Digital ventures in Myanmar

It’s difficult to imagine a country of 62 million people today with a population at large that’s been starved of the internet. It’s just as hard to think of any state – especially one within Asia, a continent where technology is king – where mobile phone uptake is only just beginning. That is the case […]

When a SIM Card Goes From $2,000 to $1.50

Five years ago, buying a cell phone SIM card in Myanmar could set you back more than $2,000. It was an extravagance available only to the rich and well-connected—and even they couldn’t buy good reception. At the time, the country was just beginning to emerge from decades of isolation imposed by its military dictatorship. Only […]