Global Cases

Becoming the ”Closest Life Platformer” in Myanmar


Working together with MPT

Sumitomo Corporation has been engaged in mobile and fixed-line telecommunication business in Myanmar since September 2014 under the partnership framework with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and KDDI Corporation (“Joint Operation”). The joint-proposal by Sumitomo Corporation and KDDI was selected by the Myanmar Government to drive MPT’s telecommunication business as operational partners by contributing funds, technology, and operational expertise.

Mobile phone penetration in Myanmar today has exceeded 100 percent. Given that the penetration in 2014 was just about 10 percent, the growth has been exceptionally fast, with smartphones becoming as popular as in Japan particularly among the younger generation. We maintain the position of market leader and, as demonstrated by the swift deployment of fourth-generation wireless technology (4G LTE), are continuously striving to deliver “Japan-quality” services to all customers in Myanmar. Moreover, we are aiming to support the enrichment of the people of Myanmar, and development of various industries through our telecommunication services.

Through close collaboration with the MPT staff in our day-to-day operations in Myanmar, we work to strengthen the Joint Operation partnership and achieve our common goals. We believe this approach is a fundamental factor for the success of this operation, and we truly hope that MPT’s continued growth will contribute further to a collaborative relationship between Myanmar and Japan.

Expanding the reach of telecommunication services

Myanmar has a population of about 50 million, and a land area of 680,000 square kilometers, almost 1.8 times the size of Japan. Sharing borders with China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, Myanmar is home to more than 100 ethnic groups, which contribute to its extremely rich diversity. The country has both mountainous regions, with mountains reaching higher than 6,000 meters, and high-rainfall regions, where a rainy season can last for up to half a year and frequently brings the threat of flooding. Transportation infrastructure such as roads and railways is still underdeveloped.

Building a nationwide telecommunications network under these circumstances can bring challenges that stretch the limits of the imagination. Communications satellites can help to expand the network to remote regions, but the corresponding equipment must also be delivered over unpaved roads and wetland terrain, which can call for the mobilization of elephants and buffalo, or other local unique measures.

We are making all efforts to bring telecommunication services to an ever greater part of Myanmar’s population.

Building Myanmar’s future together

In this Joint Operation with MPT, we are also actively participating in efforts to enrich society. For example, we are supporting the Myanmar National League (MNL), the country’s professional soccer league, under a three-year strategic partnership contract from 2018. Through this agreement, we provide financial aid, organize events such as youth leagues, and conduct other activities which further the development of soccer—a sport that enjoys nationwide popularity in Myanmar.

In addition to our focus on improving Myanmar’s telecommunications environment, we continuously pay attention to the society and people of Myanmar. Under our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities, a number of initiatives have been implemented, such as blood donations and well drilling for improving the quality of water. As part of our educational support, we have provided solar lanterns to monastic schools, especially in off-grid regions in order to improve the educational environment for young students. All of the staff involved in this business is motivated by the feeling that we are helping to build the future of this country together with MPT.

March 2019


  • Media & Digital Business
  • Asia and Oceania
  • Information Telecommunications

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