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And Then There were Four

March 25 – The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has chosen Vietnam’s Viettel to become fourth telecom operator in Myanmar. This is a joint venture between Viettel, a local consortium which comprise 11 public local companies and one entity controlled by the Ministry of Defence. The elevens are Myanmar Technologies and investment Corporation Ltd, Myanmar ICT Development Corporation Ltd, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation Ltd, Shwe Pyi Tagon Telecommunincation Public Company, Golden Land East Asia Development Ltd, Myanmar Edible Industrial Oil Public Cooperation, Myanmar Industries Alliance Public Ltd, Myanmar Agriculture and General Development Public Ltd, International Power Generation Public Company Ltd, Royal Yatanarpon Telecom Public Company Ltd and Mahar Yoma Public Company Ltd. Viettel will own 49 percent of the JV. Viettel will start operating with an initial investment of $300 million.

For fourth telecom licence, there were seven foreign companies competing including Singapore’s Singtel, Vietnam’s Viettel, China Telecom, France’s Free, South Africa’s MTN, Hong Kong’s 1COM and Beijing based Xinwei.

Vittel will be third foreign firm to enter the telecoms market after Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo which started in 2014. There is also stated-own Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), one of the major player in Myanmar telecom market.