Qatari telco sets sights on 3G

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The firm was one of two successful applicants alongside Norway’s Telenor for Myanmar mobile licences in June, catching attention with plans to invest US$15 billion over the first 15 years of domestic operations.

Ooredoo expects to review and receive the actual licence later this year and put up a $200 million performance bond after the government has published the telecoms law, Mr Cormack said a Yangon press conference Friday.

“We estimate we will launch six months after receiving the license, so next year” he said.

The firm aims to build over 1000 base stations in the first year, with about 35-40 percent population coverage, and intends to cover 97 pc of Myanmar’s population and 85 pc

geographically within five years.

The entire network is slated to be 3G, meaning data will be available wherever there is coverage, he said.

However, Mr Cormack declined to announce pricing points, adding they would be announced closer to the firm’s launch but would be “attractive”.

“We’ve learned people think [existing] service is expensive. We’ve learned people think it’s expensive to get a SIM card. And we’ve learned people want data services,” he said.

Mr. Cormack said Ooredoo intends to hire about 1000 employees over the coming year, and directed job seekers to begin applying at the firm.

Ooredoo was optimistic about the market’s potential, he said.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have been selected as the result of the biggest competition the world has ever seen for mobile licences,” he said, adding there had been 92 applicants for the two available licenses.

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