Saturday, 29 June 2013

Telenor beats Bharti Airtel to bag Myanmar telecom license

Aditya Dey | 12:31 | | |
Norway based Telenor has managed to bag the crucial telecom licenses in Myanmar.
Norway based telecommunication firm Telenor has managed to bag the crucial telecom licenses in Myanmar, which is still one of the untapped worldwide mobile phone markets for sure. Along with it, Qatar Telecommunications too has won the licenses.

India’s one of the leading telecom firm Bharti Airtel, and nine other companies too had applied for the licenses, but none of them were able to find success. This news came on the last Thursday from the Myanmar government itself.

Eventually the Myanmar government published an official statement to acknowledge to whole matter. In that statement it said, “The government committee in charge of license bids is pleased to announce that Telenor Mobile Communications and Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) have been selected as the two successful applicants.”

A large number of applications were received since the Myanmar government announced that it would issue two new telecom licenses to the interested entities. Around 91 different telecom organizations had applied for it, and only 12 of them were shortlisted by the official committee of the government. It has to be added here that global telecom giants like Vodafone, Telecom-Orange, Marubeni Corporation and SingTel were among shortlisted firms.

These two licenses were very crucial as this is the very first time Myanmar allowed private funds in the telecom sector. The main motto of the government is to boost up the overall density of the country-wide tele-market to at least 75 to 80 percent within 2015-16. This means Qatar Telecom and Telenor will be first set of private investors cum operators to give away telecom services in the cities of Myanmar.

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Telenor released an official statement on this topic, and it said that very soon it will be discussing with the Myanmar authorities to complete the whole process. In the statement it said,

"If a final license 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."

Currently, state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) is the main source of telecommunication purposes in the country and Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) is the front-running Internet Service Provider in the states of Myanmar. You should know that YTP is basically a joint venture between the government and a few local companies that are privately owned.

If we go by the official data as of the end of December 2012 then Myanmar’s current mobile base comprised around 5.44 million subscribers or 9 percent of total population. Out of this around 67% (or 3.62 million) of the subscribers were using GSM, 14 percent (or 0.74 million) were using WCDMA technology supported mobile services and 20% (or 1.1 million) were using CDMA for their daily telecommunication activities.

Final Words

We think as now Telenor has won the Myanmar telecom licenses, it will start its plan of action very soon. On the other hand the loosing operators like Airtel need to pull up their socks in order to get back in the right path. Earlier Airtel announced that very soon it would introduce its very own its low-tariff, high volume business model to Myanmar. We need to have an eye on it.

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