How to choose the right Internet provider for your business
SINCE the launch of www.internetinmyanmar.com, we received a significant amount of questions about business Internet.
How do you select the best broadband provider for your business in Myanmar? What are the key criteria that need to be thoroughly considered when choosing a business Internet service provider (ISP)? Which are the top business Internet service providers in Myanmar?
Companies in Myanmar rely more and more on Internet connectivity to communicate with suppliers and customers. A growing number of business applications are now also running in the cloud.
But the drawback of having your business in the cloud is that you are utterly dependent on your Internet connectivity. As such, choosing a provider must be a carefully thought-out decision.
Connectivity medium When it comes to connecting an independent house or an office building, the most basic question that you should ask the service provider concerns the technology involved.
Fixed wireless internet is a method of high-speed connectivity that relies on microwave communication between the Internet service provider’s transmitter radio and a receiver dish located on the customer’s rooftop.
Within the radio spectrum, there are several radio frequency bands. Some bands, known as unlicensed links or unlicensed spectrums, are unrestricted and available for all wireless communications providers.
Alternatively, licensed links are allocated selectively and require the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ approval before providers are able to utilise the capacity.
Fixed Wireless Internet is usually cost effective and faster to deploy than wire mediums.
If you are considering Fixed Wireless Internet for your office, we recommend looking at service providers that can provide licensed-based links. Unfortunately, the choice is limited to the mobile operators - MPT, Telenor, Ooredoo and Mytel - that are sole owners of radio spectrums adapted for transmission purpose.
We would consider unlicensed bands, usually Wifi, to be the last option for your business as unlicensed bands can be easily interfered with.
If your budget is tight and you can deal with a few breakdowns, go for Fixed Wireless Internet.
If connectivity is critical for your business, move on. Or use it only as a backup with a more reliable primary medium such as Fiber.
For those who established their offices in large corporate buildings, some ISPS may offer you connectivity via an existing building infrastructure which could be copper cable. This technology is acceptable for business connectivity and is usually provided at lower cost than fiber.
However, Fiber is the technology of choice for fast and stable corporate broadband. Fortunately, most of the Business ISPS use Fiber as their main medium for office connectivity.
What next? If connectivity is critical for your business, you definitely need to obtain and compare service-level agreement (SLA) documents for each of the candidate service providers.
The main component of the SLA is usually the service availability which is usually expressed in percentage of monthly availability. Other components of the SLA include packet loss and bandwidth availability.
The standard corporate SLA service availability will vary from 98pc to 99.5pc.
SLA is a commitment from the service provider to deliver a certain availability month on month. If the availability during one month is below the said SLA, then the service provider is in breach and the customer is entitled to a credit note on his monthly bill.
The SLA is important because it translates the commitment of the Internet service provider to deliver a reliable and consistent Internet service to the customer. As such, it should be a key criteria when selecting your service provider.
It is also important to look at the SLA document in detail for the level of credit the customer will obtain in case of an SLA breach.
Contention ratio The beauty of being an ISP is the capacity of selling the same resource multiple times. An ISP is basically a company that buys a big bulk of bandwidth and distributes this capacity across its users.
As customers are not using the bandwidth all the time, ISPS can very legitimately resell the same bandwidth to multiple users. This is called the contention ratio.
For home users, service providers tend to maintain a high contention ratio. This is why it is common not to receive the maximum bandwidth at any given time on a home broadband connection. It is perfectly normal and acceptable as long as it does not affect your user experience.
For businesses, low contention ratios are recommended as businesses need steady bandwidth and are more likely to consume the complete capacity consistently due to the number of users behind a single connection.
Some may wonder why a 10mbps business Internet service can be two to three times more expensive than a 10mbps for home use. The answer to that is contention ratio.
Finally, here is a small selection of the top licensed ISPS in Myanmar:.
AGB Communication provides its service through Wireless (Wifi) and Fiber. Beside Internet broadband, AGB also provide Virtual Private Servers, Cloud Storage and Voice Services.
Frontiir aka Myanmarnet provides both home and business Internet. For businesses, the service provider is also offering Domestic Private Leased Circuit (DPLC) and Full managed Wifi for the hospitality sector.
Globalnet, which operates under the 5BB brand, provides cost effective Internet services for business and home use and runs one of the biggest fiber network in Yangon.
Golden TMH focuses exclusively corporate services. The ISP also run datacenter facilities and offers cloud services in partnership with Hong Kong International carrier HGC. Herbert Kanale is an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar. He has more than 10 years in the industry across multiple countries and continents