Fourth Telecoms Operator Approved

By The Irrawaddy 25 March 2016

RANGOON — After months of delay, a fourth telecoms operator has been approved for a license, said Win Than, Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology, in Naypyidaw on Friday.

The telecoms license was awarded to three shareholders: Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Ltd., formed from 11 private companies; Viettel, a Vietnam-based telecoms operator; and Star High Public Co. Ltd., proposed by the Defense Ministry, Win Than said.

Prospective local companies had to possess at least three billion kyats (US$2.3 million) or have enough capital reserve to create a new public telecoms company. According to an announcement from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, seven foreign firms showed interest in the partnership.

Norway’s Telenor, Qatar’s Ooredoo, and the state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) hold the country’s other three telecoms licenses.

The government established a Joint Venture Formation and Tender Selection Work Committee to promote a more transparent process for awarding the license.

Burma’s fourth operator will run as a joint venture with at least 51 percent owned by the local firm, and the remaining share going to the foreign firm.