Myanmar is in a tectonically complex region between the eastern edge of the Himalayan collision zone and the northern end of the Sunda megathrust. Until recently, earthquake monitoring and research efforts have been hampered by a lack of modern instrumentation and communication infrastructure. In January 2016, a major upgrade of the Myanmar National Seismic Network (MNSN; network code MM) was undertaken to improve earthquake monitoring capability. We installed five permanent broadband and strong‐motion seismic stations and real‐time data telemetry using newly improved cellular networks. Data are telemetered to the MNSN hub in Nay Pyi Taw and archived at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Data Management Center. We analyzed station noise characteristics and site response using noise and events recorded over the first six months of station operation. Background noise characteristics vary across the array, but indicate that the new stations are performing well. MM stations recorded more than 20 earthquakes of M≥4.5 within Myanmar and its immediate surroundings, including an M 6.8 earthquake located northwest of Mandalay on 13 April 2016 and the Mw 6.8 Chauk event on 24 August 2016. We use this new dataset to calculate horizontal‐to‐vertical spectral ratios, which provide a preliminary characterization of site response of the upgraded MM stations.