MTN is believed to be eyeing a move into the South East Asian telecoms market by acquiring an operating licence for Myanmar (Burma), according to a local media report.
Eleven Media Group said that MTN has held discussions with officials at the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) about a tender calling for bids to become an operator in Myanmar.
Citing DICA officials, Eleven Media said that discussions were held just two days before the closing of a tender last Friday for two new mobile networks in the country.
The tender was announced on January 15 by the Telecommunication Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee.
However, a number of other global operators are believed to have submitted
expressions of interest in acquiring a licence, including Bharti Airtel, SingTel, Norwegian firm Telenor, Digicel, and Malaysia’s U Mobile.
Myanmar’s Communications and Information Technology Ministry said it aims to lift its mobile penetration rate, currently at about 10%, to about 80% by 2016 through the new licences. The country has a population of approximately 50 million.
MTN has GSM licences in 21 countries and internet service provider businesses in 13 countries, across Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
MTN could not be contacted for comment.