Revealed the names of seven foreign applicants for fourth telecoms licence

Industry sources have confirmed the names of seven companies that sent in non-binding expressions of interest to become Myanmar’s fourth mobile operator.

The seven companies are Singapore’s Singtel, Hanoi-based Viettel, China Telecom, France’s Free, MTN out of South Africa, Hong Kong’s 1COM and telecoms firm Beijing Xinwei.

The winner of the tender process will combine with a local consortium made up of 11 public Myanmar companies and a government stakeholder to form a joint venture that should receive the market’s fourth licence for nationwide services.

A major requirement for joining the local consortium was previous telecoms experience and financial capabilities, said one local observer.

However, some of the companies involved do not have significant telecoms experience, and the shareholding structure will make due diligence a challenge for the foreign partner.

U Zaw Oo, an advisor to the president involved in the tender process highlighted what would be sought in a foreign partner.

“We are looking for a company that can fulfil the remaining objectives of the current government in terms of telecoms reform,” he said.

He pointed out three goals in particular: providing affordable access, universal coverage, and value-added services.

“We are hoping the fourth operator may be able to emphasise their operations in rural areas so that benefits of the telecoms reforms can also reach there and we can narrow the digital divide,” he said.

The eventual fourth operator will enter a market with stiff competition in the form of two foreign telcos and one local operator, which have helped millions get connected.

Around 70 percent of the market is already occupied by foreign entrants Ooredoo and Telenor, as well as state-owned incumbent Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), said one member of the local consortium.

“Among the 30pc, we have to try [to get] customers,” the consortium member continued, adding the newest operator will arrive a little late to the market. “We have to try hard.”

Source: Myanmar Times

NB: The best way to find information on this website is to key in your search terms into the Search Box in the top right corner of this web page. E.g. of search terms would be “property research report”, ”condominium law”, "Puma Energy", “MOGE”, “yangon new town”,"MECTEL", "hydropower", etc.