Jun 7, 2013

France Telecom and Marubeni prepared to spend US$ 1 billion in Myanmar

France Telecom is prepared to spend money in high-growth markets outside of Europe. The company is part of a consortium that’s bidding for one of two licenses to operate a mobile-phone network in Myanmar. The group, which includes Japanese finance firm Marubeni Corp. (8002) is prepared to spend $1 billion to build the network by 2019 and will cover more than 75 percent of the country’s geography in five years, Girard said.

Myanmar “is the biggest telecom desert. There is less telephone use in Myanmar than in North Korea and Cuba,” he said. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”

Myanmar has a mobile-phone penetration rate of 9 percent, compared to 70 percent in Cambodia, 87 percent in Laos and more than 100 percent in Thailand, Myanmar’s Communication Ministry said in January.

Source: Bloomberg