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Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications

1. The Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), is the sole provider of telecommunication services in Myanmar. It is a Government Agency, operating under the Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs. It was founded in 1884 as a small Department of Posts and Telegraphs and has grown into the present day Myanma Posts and Telecommunications with approximately 13800 employees of which about 380 are managerial level staff. The present organization is headed by the Managing Director and a General Manager as his deputy. There are nine major departments operating under respective deputy general managers/chief engineers in the fields of administration, works and inspection, planning, training, finance, stores, automatic telephones, overseas communications and long distance communications. The three main categories of services rendered by MPT are the postal services, telegraph services and telephone services, for both domestic and international communications.

2. Though the first telegraph lines were erected in Myanmar in 1861, the telephone services in Myanmar started in 1884, eight years after the invention of the unique instrument by Sir Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. In 1884 there were about 1300 telephone lines in Yangon and in the years that followed had grown considerably and in 1937, links to other 50 towns in provincial areas were established by making use of open wire lines and open wire carrier systems, both for telegraph and telephone services.

3. In the post war period, telecommunication services continued to grow and in 1956 MPT launched a project called Yangon Automatisation with 4 crossbar switches in Yangon and was completed in 1962. By the end of 1962 there were 80 exchanges in the country inclusive of 4 crossbar automatic exchanges in Yangon and the total number of telephone lines were 14,754. In the year 1967 the number of telephone had grown to 21,444 and continued to grow ever since. Up to the early 1970's MPT was operating with about 143 exchanges of which 6 were automatic exchanges in Yangon . The total number of telephone in Yangon at that time was about 17,400 and nationwide was about 22,000. For national long distance communication the first low capacity microwave transmission system was introduced in 1960 in delta area. Other national long distance communication systems at that time were 3 and 12 channel open wire carrier systems. Both international telephone and telex services during that time chiefly used H.F radio communication.