2 years ago

Myanmar Underdog in Telecommunications

Myanmar, which is also called Burma, is considered one of the poorest countries in Asia and has been behind too behind in the latest technology. This is due to the fact that the country was isolated from the rest of the world for more than half of the century when it was still under the pariah rule of an oppressive military junta from 1962 to 2011.


When dictatorship was ousted, the new government opened communication to the outside world and internet is being provided, YouTube and other social networks are also introduced. The restrictions on multimedia media have been lifted, despite continued monopoly on television. The country also opened its gate to tourists and investors. Soon enough, positive reviews were pouring for different sectors with tourism taking the lead added by the fact that like any other Asian countries, Myanmar has plenty of natural reserves to showcase.


The once self-imposed country is undergoing political, social and economic reforms that promise boundless opportunities for businesses and international trade.


Telecommunications is one of the most booming industries in Myanmar. Despite being behind neighboring countries in many sectors, Burma which has been deprived of the wonders of the outside world through online networks, are taking over the internet by storm. They, who have not been given the privilege to experience the latest in gadgets and technology, has acquired the great number of media and subscribed to mobile services almost as if it is required of them.


Billions of dollars-worth of investments are now being poured in the country. Axiata Group of companies is one of the highest bidders for creation of telecommunications towers in Myanmar. If agreed upon, Myanmar would be the newest addition to the company’s growing branches after its acquisition of Axis Capital Group, yet another big telecommunications provider in Jakarta, Indonesia. The government has openly expressed its pride but it is yet to finalize its decision anytime soon.


Analysts predict that a number of new mobile subscribers will grow at an annual rate of 30% by 2019 and is expected to reach 2.3 million people around the country per year.


Myanmar’s ambition to improve its economic plans over its infrastructures is the reason behind almost urgent reforms. By inviting competition in the country’s telecommunications sector, Myanmar’s government wants to move the country into the 21st century. Quasi-civilian form of government and these goals have prevented any scam to get through the industry. Many experts state that Myanmar’s telecommunication is one of the safest in the world.

2 years ago

Xl Axiata Axis Capital Group Update: Samsung Announces Production in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s largest smartphone maker, announced that it plans to set up a factory to produce mobile phones mainly for Indonesia. Samsung has been discussing with the Indonesian government since early 2014. The reason for their expansion is perhaps they see Indonesia as one of the fastest growing markets for mobile devices in the world, to meet local consumers’ demand more effectively.


Budi Darmadi, director general of high-tech industry at Indonesia’s industry ministry, states that Samsung plans to build up a factory just outside Jakarta at West Java that will start at a monthly capacity of 100,000 units this year and slowly reach up to 900,000 units per month in the future. The reviews are still not sure if Samsung plans to produce both cellular and smart phones at the factory.


Mahendra Siregar, the head of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board, which is tasked with promoting and issuing investment licenses, said he couldn't provide details on the potential investment size, or on specifics about potential products that could be produced there but it would definitely be a legit subsidiary of Samsung and not a fraud as so many people hints.


Along the years, the country’s youthful and growing population, low smartphone penetration and higher disposable income make Indonesia as an attractive market for Smartphone manufacturers. 20% of the country’s population below 30 years old use smartphones. The young people make up more than half of Indonesia’s 240 million populations. It is estimated that before the end of the decade, smartphone usage will rise to 50%.


The Indonesian government is considering imposing a 20% tax for smartphones retailing at USD 428.38 (IDR 5 million) and above. Government data show Indonesia imported $2.8 billion of cellphones last year, the second-largest import after crude oil and oil products.


According to Counterpoint's figures, Samsung accounted for 22% of the smartphones sold in Indonesia in June, down from the 30% it sold in the year-earlier period.


While Apple Inc. has also slipped, to just 6%, increased competition is coming from Chinese brands like Lenovo Group Ltd. , and domestic brands that are virtually unknown outside the country, such as Advan Digital, which accounted for 7% of sales in June.


Telecommunication companies, on the other hand, are now getting prepared for the deeper penetration of smartphones and the continuous technological advancement of Indonesia.


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