Two major operators have formed a consortium in order to bid for a mobile licence in Myanmar. China Mobile and Vodafone have entered into the partnership to capitalise on rapid structural expansion in Myanmar’s telecoms sector.
The country’s government is aiming to boost competition by increasing the number of mobile operators from two to four. Currently, the only operators present in the market are Myanmar Post & Telecommunications and Yantanarpon Teleport.
Myanmar’s newly liberalised market is an attractive proposition in the global mobile industry, with a comparatively young and highly literate population of around 60 million, a GDP growth rate of 5.5% per annum and mobile phone penetration currently below 10% – significantly lower than in many other emerging economies.
The licensing round is also an opportunity to accelerate the pace of Myanmar’s social and economic development through mass-market adoption of mobile services, similar to the mobile-led transformation underway within many other Asian and African countries.
The two new licences will authorise the licence holders to build, own and operate a mobile network on a nationwide basis for an initial term of 15 years.