Vietnamese operator Viettel has secured negotiating rights to enter a local consortium set to receive Myanmar’s fourth mobile licence.
While seven foreign firms initially registered their interest in a tender which opened in late 2015, only five met the requirements to bid. Of these, Viettel was the sole candidate that submitted its proposal by the stipulated deadline of 18 March.
Viettel has come close to obtaining the country’s fourth mobile licence before; in 2014, it made a failed attempt to form a consortium with a local firm. If it succeeds this time round, it will enter a consortium with 11 local companies. These firms will take a 51% holding of the unit, while Viettel will hold 49%.
Currently Myanmar’s three operators are Ooredoo, Telenor and the state-owned MPT, which is a joint venture with Japanese firms KDDI and Sumitomo.
The Myanmar Times quoted a source as saying that Viettel had “passed the eligibility criteria and confirmed they were willing to pay their share of the licence fee price… Following negotiations with the domestic special purpose vehicle and the government partner, they can apply to PTD [the Posts and Telecommunications Department] for a licence.”