MTN sugarcoats Myanmar application

MTN Group says it has formally entered the race for the award of two nationwide telecommunications licences in Myanmar, with tender applications due for submission on Monday, 3 June.

The group said it has submitted an application to the Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, having seen a consortium consisting of Vodafone and China Mobile withdraw its bid on Friday .

MTN is in a consortium with Myanmar-based Amara Communications and M1 Telecom Limited, one of 12 groups shortlisted to own and operate a nationwide network for an initial term of 15 years.

The Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee is expected to announce the successful bidders on 27 June.

MTN has nearly 200 million subscribers across Africa and the Middle East, and with a market capitalisation of approximately $US35 billion and annual revenues of $US18 billion, it claims to be a market leader in 70% of the 22 countries in which it operates.

“Challenges of greenfield operations in major countries are significant,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, group president and CEO of MTN.

“We know this from our successes in South Africa, Nigeria, Iran and other populous countries. As we have underlined in our licence application, we combine unique experience of both developed and emerging markets. Our track record of rapidly rolling out and managing world-class networks in challenging environments is unparalleled.”

MTN said it believes in the enormous promise of Myanmar, a country fast emerging from years of sanctions.

As a South African company founded in 1994, Dabengwa said MTN’s experience of economic development following abolition of sanctions is unique. “We are confident of our ability to contribute to the socioeconomic development of Myanmar through a vibrant mobile telecoms sector.”

The group chief further expanded on plans set out in MTN’s application documents. “We are proposing early nationwide coverage, high-quality voice and data, innovative services including Internet applications and mobile banking, and, perhaps equally as importantly, the proven training capabilities and track record of the MTN Academy.

“Our teams have been working in Myanmar for many months, and we are both encouraged and enthused by our interactions and joint planning with industry, commerce, finance, trade and social organisations. We are very confident of the bright future of Myanmar and of a highly engaged role that MTN can play.”

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MTN sugarcoats Myanmar application