MPT, KDDI ink US$2 billion deal

Japanese mobile carrier KDDI said that it planned to link up with trading house Sumitomo in deal to invest about US$2.0 billion in developing wireless networks in Myanmar, as the country opens up after years of military rule.

The move will see the Japanese giants pair up for a joint venture with state-owned Myanma Posts & Telecommunications (MPT).

The tie-up would invest 200 billion yen (US$2.0 billion) over a decade to boost phone networks in a country where only about 10 percent of the 65-million strong population has access to mobile phones, KDDI said, one of the lowest rates in the world.

The business, KDDI Summit Global Myanmar (KSGM), would upgrade the domestic carrier’s existing network and expand mobile coverage, the spokesman said.

“KSGM is expected to make an investment of about 200 billion yen over the next 10 years, and most of it will be used for developing the network,” he added.

The joint venture will be competing with Telenor and Ooredoo, which are expected to launch in the coming months, and potentially Yadanarpon Teleport Company, which is undergoing its own partnering process. KDDI was chosen from a short list also including Singapore’s SingTel and France’s Orange.


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