Viettel-Backed Joint Venture ‘to Invest $2bn in Myanmar’ After Receiving Telecoms License

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Vietnamese mili­tary-run Viettel has said its joint venture with two Myan­mar companies will invest a combined $2 billion in Myanmar’s telecoms sec­tor, an increase of $500 million to its original pro­jection. The joint venture of Vi­ettel Global, Viettel’s in­vestment arm, Myanmar National Telecom Hold­ing Public Limited and Star High Public Compa­ny Limited, received My­anmar’s fourth, and last, telecom licence on Janu­ary 14th.

‘Company says it plans to rollout its network very quickly as spokesperson admits ‘other operators are running ahead of us’

Viettel has a 49 percent stake in the venture while its partners own the re­mainder. The joint venture had planned to invest $1.5 billion in the project, Viet­tel said in April last year.

The liberalisation of My­anmar’s telecoms sector has been a key example of successful reform since the military ceded power in 2011, with Norwegian operator Telenor and Qa­tar’s Ooredoo establishing themselves in the south­east Asian nation.

The firm’s entry adds competition to a market that industry figures say has already become satu­rated in terms of SIM card penetration. Telenor has said it will now target data services for its growth, while Ooredoo has said it is expanding its network to target more areas of the country.

U Khin Maung Soe, chairman of Myanmar National Tele & Commu­nications, the new firm, has said the company will focus on penetrating rural populations rather than urban areas. The compa­ny says it aims to cover 95 percent of the total popu­lation by 2020.

It acknowledges that es­tablished competitors have a significant head start.

“Other operators are running ahead of us. The Myanmar telecom market is booming more than we expected,” U Zaw Min Oo, External Relational Of­ficer for the firm, told a recent press briefing.

MPT is the largest play­er in the market with 23 million subscribers, while Telenor has 17 million and Ooredoo has 8.3 mil­lion.

Viettel’s Deputy General Director Le Dang Dung said in a statement the firm “will build an ad­vanced and widespread telecommunications net­work in Myanmar and will try to do it very quickly.”

With the new project, Myanmar will be the big­gest among Viettel’s 10 foreign markets across Asia, Africa and the Americas.

 

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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