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The 5th annual Myanmar Satellite Forum 2018 was held on 8th November 2018 at the Hilton Nay Pyi Taw.


Keynote Address -
U Win Aung, IT and Cyber Security, Ministry of Transport and Communications
 

Key Note address for Myanmar Satellite Forum 2018

 

Good Morning, the organizers of the 5th Myanmar Satellite Forum 2018, the government and military representatives, the local and International experts and delegates, all the participants, stakeholders and honorable guests.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Firstly, thank you very much for your participation, and I’m absolutely delighted to attend and participate in this 5th annual Myanmar Satellite Forum and also to get the opportunity for the welcome key note in the opening ceremony on behalf of our Ministry of Transport and Communications.

         

Now, I would like to introduce our department. I’m from the department of Information Technology and Cyber Security. It is under the Ministry of Transport and Communications with six main sectors, e-Government sector, National Cyber Security sector, Satellite sector, Legal, International Affairs and Information sector and Training center. I’m the head of Satellite sector.

 

Myanmar Satellite Forum is a very important platform for the government, industries and service providers from local and international, and experts from many countries to exchange ideas and update information about satellite industry, ICT industry and broadcasting industry. It can also give opportunities to discuss the role of broadband and data services and related challenges, to develop the relationships, and to build partnerships.

 

Today, the broadcasting industry is moving fast, and so broadcast services connected TV and satellite technologies and services becomes key topics. Also for our country, from an economic, commercial, national prestige and national security point of view, demand for satellite service system is increasing.

 

Therefore, Myanmar Government is planning national satellite program as a top priority and are working on getting this set up in the near future.

 

Let me share about the plan for space program of our country and current ongoing project. The government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was started a space program since 2015 to be able to gain the control over strategic national Communications and Broadcasting and to launch National Satellite.

 

 As a first phase, MyanmarSat-1 was launched as a CONDOSAT Scheme with ten based transponders from Intelsat. Today, the government has Myanmar Sat 1a and 1b.

We have achieved some good success in satellite sector with our nationwide initiatives. These successes in turn become motivators for the government to further enhance the efficiency of our officers. In addition, the Government has identified a need of staying connected to its citizens through increased reach and richness of e-services; increase citizens’ mindshare in e-engagement; enhance synergy within the Government organizations; and lastly, enhance national competitive advantage.

 

Recognising the importance of the role of satellite to Myanmar, the government decided to set up a Myanmar Owned Satellite System mentioned that “Satellite communica¬tions is a system that can be used inland, on water, on island groups, and at any time within a short period. With our coun¬try’s diverse geographical makeup, satellites can be used to provide commu¬nications services to is¬lands and remote villages in a short time frame.”

 

In addition, satellites are not for communica¬tions only- similarly in broadcasting, banking, petroleum, min¬ing, and education sectors are also using satellites, but are renting separate¬ly, thus increasing their overall cost because of whole sale to resale.

As the second phase, we have planned to operate a Myanmar Satellite project in Joint venture or co-ownership arrangement. According to the approval of government, MyanmarSat-2 satellite payload IRU agreement was signed on 1st June 2018 with Intelsat. Intelsat will launch IS-39 satellite by Arianespace in the second quarter of 2019. 

 

IS-39 is a high-power geostationary communications satellite, which will include broadband networking and video distribution services in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is built on the SSL-1300 platform and carries a C-band and Ku-band communication payload. Within this phase, we aim to acquire know-hows and develop stilled work force.

 

Today, having our National Satellite has become reality. MyanmarSat-2’s high performance capacity can be available nationwide in the third quarter of 2019. The Transition to MyanmarSat-2 will provide continuity and growth of MyanmarSat-1 services.

As the third step of Myanmar Space Program, we expected to launch the fully owned national satellite for earth observation. Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) will be launched in the near future in accordance with the discussion of Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University and Hokkaido University, Japan.

 

By cooperation for National Satellite project, we can achieve the technologies of construction and spacecraft, payload and sensors, ground control station and utilization of space technology. So, in the future, we can have ability to produce Micro-Satellite and control the satellite our self.

 

Moreover, with the use of satellite payload services, we can receive sky photos of the whole country by high resolution camera. And, using the satellite image, remote sensing and GIS technologies will be greatly beneficial for the Ministries and organization of our Nation.

Then, using space technologies can be able to ensure peace, safety and security of our region.

 

Also, Myanmar has made a significant progress in recent years to have millions of people access to mobile phone and the internet services as the Government opened up the telecommunications industry a few years ago and set goals and visions to provide low cost communications, in order to integrate into the global economy and overcome inadequate infrastructure.

 

By this year Myanmar was 4 years from 2013 to 2018 into a telecoms beam that has changed the physical and technological landscape at the country, drive by the four competitive operators.

 

Myanmar mobile phone usage rate increased to over 110 % and number of mobile subscribers reached over 56.8 million in fiscal year 2017-2018. It improves the daily life of Myanmar people by having a much better communication method in commerce, banking, education and many more.

 

We also found that with the rapid development of the mobile networks, families are able to access quality services without leaving their homes. Operators are creating new opportunities in the delivery of health services and entertainment on demand. And as for Regional Education, I’m delighted to see this quantum leap in the delivery of education services.

 

The Ministries of Education, the service providers and the education sector should work together to design a service to help distance education students. Distance education students should have access to the high speed internet connection at their home, with higher monthly download limits and a priority service connection.

Digital and smart technologies are also opening up significant opportunities for the agriculture sector to be able to allow farmers to manage their farms more productively, sustainable and with less risk. They can review data on soil moisture and nutrients, rainfall, forecasted weather patterns, market information, domestic and international price information. And they can also control irrigation systems from their lounge room and download You Tube video in their sheds to fix their tractors.

 

Mover, livestock producers will be able to analyze data on breeds, pastures and feed to get the best outcomes.

 

With commodity market becoming more competitive, it is crucial that we harness technology to continue to improve our agricultural productivity in rural and remote area of Myanmar. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more accessible.

 

Although it may have been quite a challenge to roll out mobile communication network in many towns and cities, it was still an easy part in the journey to connect everyone in Myanmar. One of the biggest challenges for the operators, await in remote small villages, is lack of an economically viable backhaul connectivity. That’s where satellite community can make difference and contribute know-hows and technologies to get things done promptly and effectively.

 

Too often, people in rural and remote areas of Myanmar have been left behind and forced to contemplate with very poor telecommunication service. A good telecommunication is vital in improving the living standard according to the statistics. I believe that connected communities are stronger and stable, both socially and economically.

 

While we pay so much attention to mobile penetration, we cannot ignore the important of the fixed line internet access. The Myanmar Government auctioned 2600MHz in 2016 to allow for the provisioning of broadband data service such 4G/ LTE services and fixed line wireless broadband access.

 

The government expects that fixed line wireless network will get millions at home and office connected to ultrafast broadband internet in near future. It is however likely that many homes and commercial dwellings will be left unconnected to a fixed line internet due to the remoteness of the location or lack of the economy of scale to rollout fixed line network.

 

In recent year, a number of new fixed broadband service providers were emerging, installing fiber for fixed line broadband access. Over the next five years to 2023, the broadband market is expected to grow very strongly but overall market penetration will remain extremely low compared to other nations, due to the dominance of the mobile platform.

 

So, improved connectivity, in the form of the mobile coverage and fixed line internet, may often be great new opportunities in rural health, many industries including agriculture and business and for people in rural areas to stay connected with family and friends elsewhere.

 

Accordingly, reliable internet access and mobile phone coverage are needed to consider being able to provide the advantages of these many opportunities.

As there is an increase on the demand for mobile services and the use of smart phone technologies, we believe that within the next few years, the majorities of consumers including those in remote areas applications and consequently, the demand for data across all technologies will be increasing rapidly.

Unfortunately, the satellite technology of the Very Small Aperture Terminal or VSAT can be used in common to deliver affordable and city speed fixed line internet to far flung areas. But, really this system could not be achieved in Myanmar rather than other countries and we can’t find a reason of unsuccessful.

 

I learned from my experience in developing the government tenders and talking to people in VSAT industry that satellite internet can be a lot more expensive than the terrestrial ones. Myanmar is only a developing country and it’s initial for VSAT community to come up with innovation to make the satellite internet more affordable for those who need it most.

 

So, I’m encouraged to learn that there are many private enterprises, both local and international investing in VSAT technology in Myanmar. It’s a good thing for having 4 operators currently operating in the country there will be a competition to offer VSAT internet connectivity.

 

I hope to see the healthy competition taking place among the VSAT internet service providers similar to the mobile network operators. I also hope to see innovation in technology, service delivery, bandwidth management so that everyone in Myanmar can go online.

 

Then, we need to consider a thing with the challenge of broadcast and data services that the appropriate model for new regulatory and open market is needed to adjust to be able to provide the changes of broadband technologies and to meet the consumer expectations.

Ladies and gentlemen, this forum is a key event to make opportunities for Myanmar to enhance not just only the development of social and economics but the requirements of the government, business, broadcasting industry and ICT industry.

          In previous years, Myanmar Satellite Forum gave and provided opportunities for high level exchange of information and best practice between Myanmar and world experts in satellite business and technology.

 

As a result, our satellite communication network is going to be applied the high speed broadband internet till the terabit per second through the provision of world-class telecommunications infrastructure in the next coming year. I’m proud to say that it’s more incredible than at other time in Myanmar history.

So we’re closing the digital divide and ensuring that our rural, regional and remote communications are strong, connected and able to take advantage of the many opportunities of the digital age.

As my conclusion, in this forum, we also hope to discuss the role of satellite in Myanmar and the issues for urgent to the government, enterprises and consumers in the rapid emerging Myanmar Telecom Market.

 

Again, I would like to express my thankful for this great successful Myanmar Satellite Forum and congratulations to the organizer of this forum, sponsors of this event, satellite operators, broadcasters, and service providers for your participation.

 

Thanks a lot to all.