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Myanmar mulling over candidates for incumbent partnership

The government of Myanmar is weighing up potential partners for the country’s incumbent operator, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).

Among the operators under consideration are Orange, SingTel and Vodafone.

The state-backed operator is due to face its first ever competition from market entrants Ooredoo and Telenor, both of which won licences earlier this year. The government is therefore looking for an operator partner to augment MPT’s position in the market.

Orange is a likely candidate for a partnership as it was one of the first operators contacted by the Myanmar government. In September, Orange senior vice president Dominique Espinasse confirmed that the operator had held talks with Myanmar’s government concerning a potential partnership.

In addition, the operator group was considered a backup option if Ooredoo or Telenor declined to accept their licences. Vodafone meanwhile is a surprising candidate for a partnership, as the group withdrew from June’s licensing process despite having previously stated its interest in bidding. Vodafone had originally partnered with China Mobile to bid for a licence but the companies dropped out of the process without being clear about their motivation.

Many details of the government’s plans for the partnership are currently unclear. No timeline has been set, nor has the possibility of multiple partnerships been ruled out. In addition, MPT’s financial situation is not known, although the incumbent does have 7 million connections.


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