YTP hunting for partners as private launches get close

Yatanarpon Teleport public company (YTP) is still negotiating a potential partnership with foreign firms, according to CEO U Shane Thu Aung.

As one of four firms to be licensed to provide mobile coverage in Myanmar, YTP began negotiations with Thailand’s True at the end of 2013 but has since widened its discussions, he said.

“We have to form a partnership with a foreign firm because of investment and technological reasons,” he told The Myanmar Times in an exclusive interview.

“We are now focused on restricting YTP as a public company at the same time as our selection committee holds discussions with several foreign firms.”

U Shane Thu Aung recently became YTP CEO following the retirement of U Tin Win. U Shane Thu Aung was also a co-founder of Redlink.

He declined to name the foreign firms currently in negotiations with YTP, and said there is still debate about what structure an eventual agreement would take – whether it will be a joint venture or an operational agreement.

“It is quite hard to restructure YTP as it is a running company,” he said. “But we are trying to accomplish a partnership with a foreign firm as soon as possible, and we are likely to focus on a joint venture partnership.”

The firm is currently completing its application for a telecoms licence. Telenor and Ooredoo received their licences in January and are set to launch in the coming months, while Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) is the sole incumbent operator.

MPT officials told The Myanmar Times last month that they are still negotiating with Japan’s KDDI about an eventual agreement.

Although the mobile market will be getting more crowded, U Shane Thu Aung said there is room for YTP.

“We have pressures from time and the market. But we do believe we can get space in the market as we already have some infrastructure and the country’s population is large enough for four operators,” he said.

YTP also plans to launch a share sale to the public in the coming months. It also is looking at improving its services providing internet. YTP was formed by the previous government partly as the main body implementing Yadanarpon Cyber City near Pyin Oo Lwin. It is part-owned by 15 domestic ICT companies including state-owned MPT.

Source: Myanmar Times

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