Challenges and dilemmas in Myanmar
Under the current circumstances, Telenor faces several dilemmas in Myanmar. We entered Myanmar in 2013 with a clear ambition to support the country in its progress towards democracy and economic development. The recent events represent a set-back for the country’s path to reform. Access to telecom services is essential for people to exercise their basic right to freedom of opinion and expression, and to gain information. These services are also critical in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for economic opportunities. When following authority orders in these irregular times, we know it has negative impact on human rights in Myanmar. We are working to minimise this impact, and Telenor continues to emphasise to the authorities that access to telecom services should be maintained at all times.
Keeping the network open and adhering to our established process continues to be important
Keeping open communication lines for the people in Myanmar is important, and Telenor continues to follow its established global process for handling authority directives. Each directive is assessed for legal basis, human rights impact, necessity and proportionality and our ability to be transparent.
As a local employer, Telenor Myanmar needs to handle a difficult situation and ensure the safety and security of employees on the ground during this state of emergency. Our ambition is to continue to take action, and to keep the local and global community informed. Telenor is deeply concerned with events in Myanmar and continues to assess the situation on ground.
Nationwide network status* in Myanmar:
Fixed Wireless and Mobile internet unavailable. Fixed and Enterprise services running as normal.
Voice and SMS services are available.
*Selected services are available via fixed and mobile internet. Technical issues might still occur and will not be reported here.
Orders and directives received in the period after 1 February 2021:
Update 15.04.21: It is now a month since the Myanmar authorities ordered a nationwide mobile internet shutdown. The continued internet restrictions have severely impacted the people of Myanmar who rely on the internet for staying connected and informed, and is a lifeline to much needed services such as healthcare and banking for millions of people. The prolonged mobile internet shutdown is also detrimental to the country’s economy and businesses. Telenor Group welcomes and supports the Nordic Embassies in Myanmar’s call for the authorities to immediately reinstate access to the internet, as well as halting all violence and respecting people’s human rights of freedom of assembly and expression.
Update 17.03.21: On 15 March, the mobile data network became unavailable in Myanmar. Telenor has protested this development to the telecom regulator in Myanmar, and maintains that the network should be kept open at all times so that people can stay connected, and to ensure people’s basic rights of freedom of expression and opinion.
Update 01.03.21: Referencing our last update, Telenor wants to be transparent about the directives we receive from the authorities, and we had published all of them up until 14 February. We continue to operate in an unpredictable situation in Myanmar and based on a holistic evaluation where we have to balance our principle of transparency with the safety of our employees, it is still not possible for Telenor to disclose the directives. We recognise the impact this has on the local and international community’s ability to receive information and we regret that this currently continues. Our process for handling authority directives includes requiring a written order, and assessing each individual directive based on legal basis, necessity, proportionality and human rights impact. This remains unchanged. You can read more about Telenor’s global process for handling directives from the authorities here.
Update 14.2.21: It is currently not possible for Telenor to disclose the directives we receive from the authorities. We are gravely concerned with this development and recognise the impact this has on the local and international community’s ability to receive information. We deeply regret that the list on this site will no longer be updated.
|14.02.2021||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses and URLs||Active|
||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses||Active|
|12.02.2021||Directive on temporary (but open ended) targeted blocking of access to service||Active|
|12.02.2021||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses||Active|
|11.02.2021||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses and URLs||Active|
|10.02.2021||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses||Active|
|09.02.2021||Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses||Active|
|06.02.2021||Directive to temporarily shut down data network
|Restored – 07.02.2021|
|05.02.2021||Directive to block social media services Twitter and Instagram, until further notice (statement)||Active|
|04.02.2021||Directive to temporarily block social media service Facebook (statement)||Active|
|03.02.2021||Directive to restore 3G and 4G data network in eight townships in Rakhine/Chin state (statement)||Restored – 03.02.2021|
|01.02.2021||Forced nationwide network shutdown (statement issued on situation in Myanmar)||Restored – 01.02.2021|