Vodacom parent Co in Myanmar licence bid

Vodacom’s parent company Vodafone has teamed up with China Mobile to bid for a mobile telecommunications licence in Myanmar.

The operators jointly announced on Thursday (4 April) that they have signed an agreement to form a consortium to bid for a mobile telecommunications licence in Myanmar.

In March, SA operator MTN Group said it was one of many parties who have expressed an interest in a potentially lucrative operator’s license for the South East Asian country.

MTN CEO and president, Sifiso Dabengwa joked that about 90 parties were vying for one of two new telecoms licences being issued out by the Myanmar government. “I think it would be an excellent opportunity,” he said.

Vodafone meanwhile, said in a statement:

“The Myanmar communications sector is about to enter a period of rapid structural expansion as the government seeks to increase the number of mobile operators from two to four while taking measures to encourage and support the development of mobile network infrastructure across the country.

“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 – Myanmar will be an important new market for the global mobile industry.”

The operator, which has a 65% stake in Vodacom, said that 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, it noted, will authorise the licence holders to build, own and operate a mobile network on a nationwide basis for an initial term of 15 years.

“The Vodafone-China Mobile pre-qualification application has been submitted to the Myanmar authorities in line with the submission deadline of 4 April 2013. Further details of the proposed Vodafone-China Mobile consortium will be announced in due course,” it said.

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Vodacom parent Co in Myanmar licence bid