In Myanmar, the mobile penetration has now reached close to 100 per cent, but access to broadband and digital services is still very limited and far from neighbouring countries’ level of connectivity. The domestic internet service provider, Frontiir, is working on closing the gap and has as the fastest growing internet service provider in Myanmar been able to grow its user base to 1.8M users within recent years. The ambition is to expand the service to lower income townships across the nation growing to 22 cities and towns by 2022 from 5 today.
A last mile wireless access
Frontiir’s broadband internet services are offered under the brand Myanmar Net and are based on an innovative and proprietary technology developed by its founders, who are returnees from the US, where they have spent close to 20 years studying and working within the wireless internet domain.
The service provided is a last-mile broadband wireless internet access, which offers an efficient solution to companies, households and individuals. Frontiir’s mission is to provide affordable digital access and useful information services to people, helping Myanmar build the early stages of modernization of the country’s technology infrastructure.
Contributing to capital increase
To continue the company’s growth covering new geographical areas and increasing number of users, Frontiir needs additional capital. In 2019, IFU invested DKK 25 m in Frontiir and is now participating in a capital increase contributing DKK 50m along with other investors.
Frontiir has been instrumental in developing the country’s technology infrastructure through enhancing access to the internet for more people in Myanmar, thereby narrowing the digital divide. Since our first investment, the company has performed very well, and we are confident of their continued success
Deepa Hingorani, Vice President South Asia for IFU.
IFU’s investment in Frontiir is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is a DKK 5bn public-private partnership backed by the Danish State and large Danish pension funds, among others.
Supporting the global goals
Today, Frontiir is already employing more than 2,200 people, of which a large proportion is young people under 30. Around one third are women. Frontiir is among the few companies in Myanmar with a strong ESG policy and practice leading to solid, decent jobs. The new investment round from IFU and other investors could lead to an additional 4,000 jobs.
Consequently, the investment supports Sustainable Development Goal 8 related to decent work and economic growth. Moreover, it supports goal 9.c aiming at providing universal and affordable access to the internet in developing countries.
– By creating economic growth, decent jobs and access to the internet, Frontiir is a perfect match with the mandate of IFU and the Danish SDG Investment Fund, said Mikkel Kallesoe, Head of Sustainability and Impact for IFU.