Category Archives: Innovation

SK Telecom sends cyber experts to Myanmar amid national SOC development

South Korean provider also targets expansion through Vietnam and Thailand

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of Myanmar has moved to bolster cyber prevention and defence capabilities through a security-focused partnership with SK Telecom.

Terms of the contract will see the South Korean provider deploy a team of cyber security specialists to Myanmar to consult on the “design and establishment” of a security operation centre (SOC) at the government agency until the end of July.

Leveraging SK Telecom’s ‘Smart Guard’ solution, the team will attempt to diagnose security vulnerabilities within NCSC’s existing cyber security infrastructure, alongside offering infrastructure security management guidance and advice.

This is in addition to the provision of SIEM (security information and event management) offerings developed by Korean security specialist Igloo Security. The solution will “collect and analyse” information – such as logs, errors and hacking – generated by diverse systems including servers, network equipment and applications.

“We are pleased to establish our SOC with SK Telecom’s advanced technology and know-how in infrastructure security,” said Ko Ye Naing Moe, director of NCSC. “We will work closely with SK Telecom to better protect Myanmar’s national intelligence and intelligence resources.”

Operating as an agency under the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Myanmar, NCSC is tasked with safeguarding national intelligence against cyber threats, including hacking and distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks, as well as protecting the nation’s information and communication networks.

“SK Telecom will work closely with the NCSC to build a sophisticated security operation system in Myanmar to strengthen its protection against the ever-increasing cyber threats,” said Shim Sang-soo, vice president of Infra Business at SK Telecom. “Going forward, armed with strong cyber security capabilities, we will seek further business opportunities in other Asian markets.”

Following the export of services to Myanmar – which Sang-soo said serves as a “strategic hub” connecting the emerging ASEAN markets – SK Telecom expects to expand security reach across other Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam and Thailand.


Myanmar To Build Two Earth Observation Satellites With Japanese Assistance

Image courtesy of Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University.

Myanmar is to build and launch a small Earth observation satellite by 2021 with the assistance of Japan.

Engineers and technicians from the Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University will travel to Japan as soon as travel restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic are lifted, where they will be trained and educated by satellite engineering faculty at the Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities.

The small satellites will weigh approximately 50 kilograms and measure 50 x 50 x 50 centimetres, and will be used for remote sensing to monitor agricultural conditions, environmental monitoring, and disaster surveillance.

The students from Myanmar will spend up to five years working with the Japanese universities and will build two small Earth observation satellites, with the aim of launching the first one by the end of 2021. The students will be trained in satellite engineering and manufacturing, satellite data analysis and interpretation, as well as in all the necessary steps from satellite mission conception and development through to launch and on-orbit operations.

The total cost of the training programme is US$16 million for the training and accommodation of the students, the development of the two satellites, and their subsequent launch. All of the costs will be paid for by the Myanmar government.

The training of graduate students from Myanmar in Japan is part of a Myanmar government initiative to develop and establish its own space and satellite programme, and is being overseen and administered by the vice president of Myanmar, Myint Swe.

Japanese diplomats, space industry executives, and university officials have visited Myanmar often and met with officials there to lobby Japanese satellite technology and services. This lobbying has attracted much criticism from human rights activists, but Japanese analysts argue that if they did not provide Myanmar with satellite technology then Myanmar’s political leaders would simply seek it from countries such as China.


Myanmar Communications gets Boost from Japan

Myanmar’s notoriously under develope communications infrastructure is to get a boost following the signing of a contract between three Japanese companies—Sumitomo Corporation, NTT Communications and NEC Corporation— and the Ministry of Communications last week. In a statement released on Tuesday, Sumitomo and NEC announced that they would be supporting Myanmar’s “emergency communications network improvement plan” by building a high speed optical cable to link the country’s biggest cities.

Vol02_InlineText_004The cables will enhance the cities’ internet connectivity, as well as provide more than 1.5 million fixed-telephone lines when they are completed at the end of 2013.

The project has been made possible by a grant of 1.71 billion yen (US$16.6 million) provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency to assist in Myanmar’s communications’ network development last December. Japan has made no secret of its bid to be the champion of Myanmar’s development on the international scene.

World’s Third Largest Solar Plant to be Set Up

Solar peojects in Myanmar will help the country meet electricity demand in rural communities | Photo:
Solar peojects in Myanmar will help the country meet electricity demand in rural communities | Photo:

Myanmar has not always had the greatest of reputations, but Thailand-based company Green Earth Power (GEP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the country’s Ministry of Electric Power to construct a $275 million solar power plant in the city of Minbu in the Magway region, close to the capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

The 210 MW power plant is claimed to be the “world’s third largest solar plant” and is expected to be finished within 18 months. To be developed in three phases — 50 MW, 70 MW, and 90 MW — 70% of the cost will be paid through loans while the remaining financing will come from equity. Paul Bernard Yang, president and chairman of GEP, told the Bangkok Post the company is expected to sign a power purchase agreement with the Ministry within the next 90 days.

“We are also in negotiations for a second MoU, [for a plant that] could be in Mandalay or Yangon, and to have capacity of more than 200 MW,” said Yang. “The second MoU with the Ministry of Electric Power is expected to be finalised this year.”

Development of renewable energy anywhere in the world is big news, especially on such a large scale. The appeal of such a project only grows once you consider that not only is Myanmar not one of the stereotypical nations to develop renewable energy, but that the country currently only provides electricity to 26% of the country, while only 4% of rural areas have access to power. more…

Myanmar Goes Social, With Help from a Vancouver Tech Entrepreneur

Rita Nguyen, co-founder of SQUAR, Myanmar’s first social media network, relaxes in Vancouver, BC. photo: nick procaylo
Rita Nguyen, co-founder of SQUAR, Myanmar’s first social media network, relaxes in Vancouver, BC. | photo: nick procaylo

Rita Nguyen is creating a social media network there in a language she doesn’t speak

When civilian government replaced military rule in Republic of the Union of Myanmar, it ended censorship that had, among other restrictions, banned news websites sites and social networking such as the video sharing site YouTube.

Twitter and Facebook were subject to blocking on occasion and in 2007, the ruling junta blocked Internet connectivity completely during that country’s street protests.

When 50 years of censorship and Myanmar’s economic isolation came to an end, the country attracted entrepreneurs eager to tap into a consumer population that lagged far behind in access to many services, including communications.

Vancouver’s Rita Nguyen, cofounder of SQUAR, Myanmar’s first social media network that launched earlier this year, was among them.

Putting Myanmar’s Proposed Telecom Rules on Global Stage

Prospects for Myanmar’s telecoms sector are looking very positive. photo:
Prospects for Myanmar’s telecoms sector are looking very positive. | photo:

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar today closed its public consultation on its proposed rules for the country’s telecommunications sector, which covers areas such as licensing, access and interconnection, spectrum, numbering, and competition. TelcoProspects for Myanmar’s telecoms sector are looking very positive.

Managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the consultation allowed interested parties such as Ooredoo, Telenor, MPT, YPT, and industry players to comment on the proposed rules which were published on November 4. As anticipated, the draft rules included proposals for the issuance of additional telecoms licences in Myanmar.

The consultation covered five broad areas:
1. Licensing;
2. Access and interconnection;
3. Spectrum;
4. Numbering; and
5. Competition.

A key question here is whether the proposed rules meet international best practice benchmarks? Now that the consultation on the draft regulations has closed, it is possible to provide an interim report card. While this can be done in different ways, a useful benchmark is the reference telecoms paper of the GATS annex on telecoms which sets out the basic elements of a liberalized telecoms regulatory framework. more…