Home & Office

Vodafone, China Mobile withdraw Myanmar license bid

World's two largest mobile operators say the returns do not justify their investment after pulling out their joint bid for one of Myanmar's two telecom licenses.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
China Mobile-Vodafone consortium won't proceed as the bid does not meet its "strict internal investment criteria".

Vodafone and China Mobile have withdrawn their joint bid for one of two licenses offered in Myanmar, saying the returns do not justify their investment.

According to a Reuters report Saturday, the world's two largest mobile operators said the consortium decided not to proceed with the bid as it did not meet "strict internal investment criteria" which both companies adhered to.

The Chinese and British telcos had partnered in April to bid for a license in Myanmar, where the government was looking to increase the number of mobile operators from two to four.

The two operators had been among 12 applicants to make the shortlist which included Airtel Consortium; Axiata Group; Digicel; France Telecom-Orange and Marubeni; KDDI, Sumitomo, Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development and A1 Construction; Millicom International Cellular; MTN Consortium; Qatar Telecom; SingTel, KBZ and Myanmar Telephone Co; Telenor; and Viettel Group.

Industry watchers said in a previous ZDNet Asia report that as Myanmar looked toward economic reforms which would open up its telecom market to outsiders, investments might take a long time to pay off as telcos would face a lack of clarity in regulations, government red tape, and the limited infrastructure when rolling out networks.

Editorial standards