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Overcoming ICT Roadblocks in Myanmar

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By Reuben Paul, Director of Operations, Cautela
Myanmar is one of the world’s hotspots when it comes to economic development. Recent political reforms, a large relatively well-educated population, and a sizeable country blessed with minerals, rich farm land and miles of coastland make it ripe to become this century’s big Asian success story in the very near future.
However, ICT (information and communications technologies) is a major weak point here. The nation has one government controlled fixed line provider and two international cellular service providers have recently entered the market. While all are making major strides forward, phone services can be described as sketchy at best. And problems using the internet have reduced many grown men to tears.
The situation reminds me of 1995 when I was a UN Peacekeeper at the end of the 25-year Angolan civil war. The infrastructure – the fundamental facilities and systems serving the country – had broken down, nothing worked. We are facing a similar problem in Myanmar when it comes to the ICT infrastructure.
But things are far from hopeless – quite the opposite in fact. Effective solutions are at hand using the latest technology. A very pertinent case study is from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The task was quite daunting: to provide the world’s largest guest network serving over 40,000 users and to ensure all of the essential communications to support the delivery of the Games were maintained flawlessly in two sites separated by 40km and mountainous terrain.

To achieve this daunting task, seven separate isolated networks were built to run virtualized over a single backbone. This entailed the use of over 90km of optical fiber (which is five times the height of Mount Everest) and 2,500 wireless access points. The maximum network speed was 57 terabits per second, capable of supporting 6.37 million smartphones.

This was a Herculean project, no doubt, but the important point to note is that it was all handled by a private company, not a government organization. Whatever the need, large or small, ICT solutions can be provided by businesses to enable other businesses to grow and prosper.

Cautela has the ability to supply similar answers here in Myanmar. David Voigts, our Technical Director, is currently working on a number of ICT infrastructure projects including monitoring power supplies, emergency services and a number of call/contact centers. David is also consulting for telecom companies, getting their products to working in country.

If ICT is a roadblock to your business success, please contact Cautela to get into the fast lane.