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Myanmar opens tender for telecoms licenses

Government is inviting both local and international operators to bid for 2 nationwide service licenses as it looks to grow its nascent telecoms industry.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

The Myanmar government has opened two telecommunications service licenses for tender to local and international operators.

In a statement Tuesday, Myanmar's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said it will award two nationwide telecommunications service licences by the first half of 2013. Interested parties will need to submit an expression of interest to the Telecommunication Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee by Jan. 25, 2013.

The announcement followed the government's changes to its telecommunications and ICT industry policy frameworks, which are aimed at encouraging competition among local and international operators.

With the changes, the government said its goals are to increase the overall teledensity of the country to 75 percent to 80 percent in 2015 through to 2016. This is to make telecommunications services available to the public at affordable prices, and to give people the option to choose their preferred services.

While Myamar presents a greenfield opportunity for foreign operators, market observers said in a previous ZDNet Asia report that telcos and service providers need to advance with caution due to the unclear regulatory regime and lack of infrastructure for foreign players to grow.

However, that has not deterred some companies from heading to Myanmar. Since the government's announcement, multiple companies in the region have entered the market, including HTC which launched six smartphones this week, and NEC and NTT Data which have set up branches in the country.

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