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ADB, IFC to Help Extend Mobile Telecom Services Across Myanmar

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation are providing loans of USD300 million to Ooredoo Myanmar for the rollout of a mobile telecommunication network across Myanmar.

Each bank is offering loans of USD150 million each to Ooredoo.

"Myanmar has one of the lowest rates of telecom connectivity in Southeast Asia, with poor communities and women the least likely to have access to these increasingly vital services," said Christopher Thieme, Director of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department. "This assistance, ADB's largest private sector investment to date in Myanmar, will help the government meet its target of connecting over 90% of the population, including millions of people for the first time."

In 2013, only 7 out of every 100 people had access to a mobile phone in Myanmar. Providing affordable, widely available telecom services to support economic growth and cut poverty has been a priority goal of the Government of Myanmar. Since its entrance into the market in 2014, Ooredoo Myanmar has reached millions of customers covering 80% of the population with its 3G network.

The network rollout will be carried through to 2019.

ADB will also carry out a technical assistance project-financed by an up to $1 million grant from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia-to examine the feasibility of using renewable energy to run telecom transmission towers. The project will trial the use of renewable energy at selected towers with the goal of deploying it across at least 1,500 rural sites, reducing around 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

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Tags: ooredoo  Myanmar