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Asia and the Pacific

Apollo Towers: Transforming Myanmar's telecommunications sector

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Country: Myanmar

Sector: Telecommunications

Challenge:

Myanmar was one of the last places in the world without widespread infrastructure for telecommunications. In 2011, less than 3 percent of Myanmar’s 50 million residents had access to mobile phones, which excluded most of the population from the benefits of reliable information communications technology, such as access to tools that support healthcare and education. This lack of technology hindered the country’s potential for economic growth.

Solution:

OPIC is providing $250 million in financing to Apollo Towers Myanmar Limited for the development of telecommunications towers throughout the country. Apollo has built 1,800 towers since the start of its operations in 2014 and plans to construct more than 2,000 additional towers in its next phase of development. This is the first project that OPIC has ever supported in Myanmar, and by providing financing, the Agency is helping Apollo Towers equip many areas of the country with voice and data coverage for the first time.

Impact:

Apollo Towers is now leading Myanmar’s telecom market in new tower construction. With OPIC support, Apollo has been able to expand the critical infrastructure needed to supply telecommunications services to a greater portion of the country’s population, significantly increasing Myanmar’s mobile phone penetration rate from less than 3 percent in 2011 to more than 75 percent in 2016. This is helping to reverse decades of isolation and provide the tools needed to improve the quality of life and increase productivity.

 

​​​​​​​This project was profiled in 2017