Oct 30, 2013

MPT gives second chance to int'l telecoms providers

Leading telecommunication companies that did not win operating licences in June this year have been invited to join hands with the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), according to the Financial Times.

The Financial Times reported that Orange and Vodafone are among the list of foreign operators who have been invited to go into a private partnership with the state-owned MPT. They will be allowed to work independently from the company’s rules and regulations.

While Singtel has also been approached, it is unclear whether or not Digicel has also been invited.

Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo won a competitive tender for two mobile operating licences in June and are expected to start operations next year as the first private mobile providers in Myanmar.

Although both companies stated that they will start selling SIM cards and offer their services eight months after they won the bid, the government still has not granted them their licenses yet.

Ooredoo has been seeking to share transmitter towers with Telenor to save costs.

Currently, only 11.1 percent of Myanmar has access to mobile phones and services and the government plans to increase Myanmar's mobile density to between 75 and 80 percent between 2015 and 2016.

MPT plans to cooperate with Telenor, Ooredoo, and another operator to expand the telecoms network and build over 80,000 transmission towers across the country. Some foreign research groups say that the mobile density will only cover 50 percent of the population by 2015.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media