Jun 9, 2013

Ooredoo to invest $15bn in Myanmar on bid success

OOREDOO will invest $15 billion in rolling out a telecommunications network across Myanmar, should it win one of two licences being tendered in the Southeast Asian country, a senior company executive said.

The company would roll out a 3G data network across the country, reaching 90 percent of the population within two years if it wins a license, Chief Strategy Officer Jeremy Sell said on Wednesday.

"Myanmar is one of the world's last exciting greenfields.

Over the lifetime of the licence, we are looking to spend $15 billion on the opportunity," he said.

If Ooredoo is awarded a licence, it plans to build more than 10,000 base stations in Myanmar, focusing coverage on urban and downtown areas, Sell said. The Myanmar government is considering bids from 11 possible operators, he added.

Sell said Ooredoo could eventually take a 35 percent share of the mobile-phone market in Myanmar and is looking to form partnerships with distribution, retail and financial services companies in the country to help sell its products. The country's mobile penetration rate could eventually reach 140 percent, he added.

The Myanmar government said in January it would grant two licences, each for 15 years, to open up its telecom market and increase voice and data penetration in a country where less than 10 percent of the population have a mobile phone.

About 5.4 million of Myanmar's 60 million population had a mobile-phone subscription at the end of 2012.

Source: Qatar Tribune