Tokyo, May 21, 2013 - Sumitomo Corporation (Sumitomo; TSE: 8053) and NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701), in cooperation with NTT Communications Corporation, concluded a contract with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar) on May 14, 2013 in support of the country's "Emergency communications network improvement plan."
This is the first infrastructure project in Myanmar that capitalizes on Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan since its adoption of a new economic cooperation policy towards Myanmar in April 2012. The development of this network aims to improve Myanmar's communications infrastructure to a level that rivals that of developed markets, while promoting economic revitalization and the quality of people's daily lives.
Myanmar's infrastructure development for daily communications, including fixed-line telephones, mobile phones, Internet access and power lines, is delayed when compared to its neighboring countries. In order to achieve the economic development that is now widely expected from Myanmar, it is essential to improve its communications networks. As one way to try to accomplish this, the government of Myanmar has made requests for assistance from the Japanese government in the urgently required improvement of communications infrastructure, particularly in and between the cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw.
In response to these requests, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) concluded a grant agreement with Myanmar on December 28, 2012, promising 1.71 billion yen in ODA. This grant aid will fund Myanmar's communications network improvement plan, which includes the strengthening of connections between Myanmar's three leading cities and the reinforcement of communications networks with improved procurement of equipment, installation and operation of systems supporting Internet connections.
The communications infrastructure built under this plan consists of a high-speed, high-capacity core optical transmission network capable of transmitting 30Gbps between the cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw, as well as LTE communications, fixed-line telephones and optical transmission networks capable of 10Gbps Internet transmissions within each city.
This infrastructure will support the simultaneous use of services for approximately 40,000 LTE communication subscribers, roughly 1.5 million fixed-line telephone subscribers and about 1 million Internet communication subscribers. LTE communications systems will also be supported by 50 LTE base-stations deployed within the three cities. Systems are expected to be completed by November 2013, followed by technical training and operation assistance.
Sumitomo Corporation and NEC expect to see this communication infrastructure contribute to the growth of Myanmar's stature in the international community by enabling the smooth transmission of information in support of events such as the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), planned for the end of this year, and the country's assumption of the role of ASEAN chairman in 2014. Going forward, both companies will continue to promote the expansion of communications infrastructure throughout the urban and rural regions of Myanmar.