Back in January, we brought you the news behind Myanmar’s expected growth in the telecoms industry. Imagine how interesting it was to then read this morning that Google’s former chief executive Eric Schmidt is due to visit the booming country next week. His trip there will see him talking with governmental officials at a technology and communications get-together, all coming in the wake of countries changing political stance in 2011. This has vastly increased the attractiveness of foreign business investing in the country, largely considered as an untapped market with huge potential.
Currently in the country formerly known as Burma, mobile subscriptions account for 9% of the 60 million strong population. In neighbouring Thailand mobile subscription account for 110% of the countries population, demonstrating that nearly everyone in the country has a mobile phone with quite a few of those individuals having more than 1 phone. This public interest is likely to filter through into the neighbouring country, showing just how large an opportunity there is in the telecoms sector.
Google’s interest in Myanmar and the reason for the talks is likely to have something to do with the fact that Google themselves are large players in the mobile phone market, being the company behind the world’s most popular operating system, Android. As more and more people own handsets with Android installed, Google themselves being at their core a data business, will have more information to analyse to improve their number 1 revenue generating business, their search engine. For a company in a position such as Google, who can capitalize in various ways from a presence in Myanmar, it represents a huge opportunity where relationships developed during Schmidt’s visit could become critical.