BBC World Service has become the first international media organisation in Burma (Myanmar) to deliver news on the mobile platform. Thanks to a ground-breaking agreement between BBC World Service and Burma’s leading mobile aggregator, Blue Ocean Operating Management, the country’s mobile-phone users can now receive two BBC Burmese audio news bulletins every day. The BBC is also the first provider of audio bulletins on mobile phones in Burma.
The BBC Burmese audio bulletins will be updated at 8am and 6.30pm local time every day via automatic feed. In addition, there will be special bulletins for breaking news. To listen on demand, subscribers can call 01-2399600.
There are around 4 million mobile subscribers in Burma, and the number is set to grow with the further liberalisation of the mobile market. BBC World Service Head of Business Development Asia Pacific, Indu Shekhar Sinha, says: “As Burma’s media scene goes through rapid change, we are thrilled to be spearheading the delivery of international audio news bulletins to Burmese mobile-phone users. We have also agreed with Blue Ocean Operating Management that the introduction of audio bulletins will be followed by the launch of a BBC Burmese news SMS, providing users with short text news updates.”
BBC World Service is a mass broadcaster in Burma. BBC Burmese has a weekly audience of 8.4 million listeners in Burma, reaching 22.9% of the country’s population. Independent surveys also show that BBC Burmese has established itself as a trusted international broadcaster in Burma.
Tin Htar Swe, Editor of BBC Burmese and BBC World Service South Asia Hub, adds: “The BBC continues to keep its audiences in Burma informed about regional and international events, via radio, online on bbcburmese.com, and increasingly via Facebook. This exciting development means these audiences will have access to our impartial and independent news content on the go. With the growing number of mobile-phone users in Burma, this is a great way for us to keep connected with our audiences and further expand our outreach in the country.”
Managing Director of Blue Ocean, Htun Htun Naing, comments on the collaboration between the BBC and Blue Ocean: “I’m very excited to launch this mobile service which is a first in Myanmar. We are always eager to develop and introduce new services to Myanmar people. With the BBC’s unbiased, independent news content and its existing listener base on the one hand, and our cutting-edge technology on the other, I believe this can soon become a very successful service.”
The BBC World Service radio output in English is available on the radio service of the digital receiver of Forever Group in Burma. Three BBC TV channels – BBC World News, BBC Entertainment and CBeebies – are available on Forever Group’s as well as SkyNet’s pay TV platform in Burma.