Myanmar Finally Hands over Delayed Mobile Operating Licenses
Published on: 30th Jan 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Myanmar's government has formally handed over the two mobile licenses that it tentatively awarded to Telenor and Ooredoo last year. The licences will come into effect on February 5 2014 for a initial duration of 15 years.
However, the license winners were announced last June, and the licenses were supposed to have been handed over last September. The delay has remained unexplained.
Telenor said that it plans to launch its services within 8 months, and will build a HSPA and LTE-ready network, with the aim of reaching 90% of the population within 5 years.
Telenor Myanmar met its goal of hiring 150 employees at the end of 2013 and the company is on track to add another 900 people to its workforce in 2014.
Telenor targets EBITDA break-even in Myanmar within three years after the license award. The total peak funding, defined as the license fee plus accumulated losses until operating cash flow break-even is expected to be around USD 1 billion. The license fee is USD 500 million.
Ooredoo did not say when it expects to launch services, but did say that at launch, it is expected that the company's services will be available in a majority of major cities, expanding rapidly to include rural areas and more remote communities.
Myanmar has a population of around 60 million, of which less than 10 percent currently have access to mobile services. There are two state-owned mobile networks, which have been shaken up in recent months as they prepare for competition in the market.