Telenor wins Myanmar telecom licence, Bharti Airtel loses out
New Delhi: Norwegian firm Telenor and Qatar Telecommunications Thursday won telecom licences in Myanmar, one of the last untapped mobile phone markets globally, pipping India's Bharti Airtel and nine others.
The government committee in charge of licence bids "is pleased to announce that Telenor Mobile Communications and Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) have been selected as the two successful applicants", a Myanmarese government statement said.
The expression of interest floated by Myanmar for two telecom licences received application from 91 entities and 12 including Vodafone, SingTel, Telecom-Orange and Marubeni Corporation were shortlisted.
This was the first time Myanmar opened up the sector for private investments with aim to increase the overall tele-density of the country to 75 to 80 percent in 2015-2016.
Telenor and Qatar Telecom will be first set of private operators to provide telecom services in Myanmar.
Telenor in an exchange filing said it will now start final discussion with Myanmar authorities.
"If a final licence is granted, Telenor will build a state-of-the-art mobile network using HSPA and LTE-ready (4G) technologies, and aims to achieve nationwide network coverage within five years. Mobile voice and data services will be commercially launched by in 2014," it said.
At present, state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) is the main telecommunications operator in the country. Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP), a joint venture between local private companies and the government, is primarily an Internet Services Provider in the country.
According to official data, as of end of December 2012, the current mobile base in Myanmar stood at 5.44 million subscribers or 9 percent penetration.
Out of this 3.62 million or 67 percent of mobile subscribers were using GSM, 0.74 million or 14 percent were using WCDMA technology based telecom services and 1.1 million or 20 percent were using CDMA mobile services.
Telecom major Airtel had earlier said it would bring its low-tariff, high volume business model to Mynamar.
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