Telenor launches Myanmar mobile phone service

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XP3R73QNUPNorway’s Telenor said it would launch telecommunications services in Myanmar on Sept. 27, becoming the second foreign telecoms company to start operating in one of the world’s least connected nations.

Telenor follows Qatar’s Ooredoo, which launched services on August 2.

At that time, Myanmar’s mobile penetration rate was only 10 per cent, according to government figures. Ooredoo says that since then it has sold about 1 million SIM cards, while state-backed operator Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has also increased sales.

Telenor plans to reach 90 per cent of the country within five years, a similar roll-out plan to Ooredoo’s.

Telenor will launch in the central city of Mandalay first, followed by the capital Naypyitaw and then Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, said Petter Furberg, Telenor’s chief executive in Myanmar.

“Within weeks we will be available in more than 12,000 outlets in the three main cities,” he said.

Formerly the sole telecoms provider, MPT has partnered with Japanese firms Sumitomo Corp., a trading house, and KDDI, Japan’s second-largest wireless carrier, which said they would invest about $2 billion to expand its existing network.

All three telecoms companies priced their SIM cards at 1,500 kyat (about $1.50).

Telecommunications were tightly controlled by Myanmar’s former junta, with the government monopolising the sector and selling SIM cards for thousands of dollars when they were introduced a decade and a half ago.

As a result, Myanmar had the lowest mobile penetration rate in the world. Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson said that in 2012 less than 4 per cent of the country’s population was connected.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Norway’s Telenor said it would launch telecommunications services in Myanmar on Sept. 27, becoming the second foreign telecoms company to start operating in one of the world’s least connected nations.

Reading Time: 1 minute

XP3R73QNUPNorway’s Telenor said it would launch telecommunications services in Myanmar on Sept. 27, becoming the second foreign telecoms company to start operating in one of the world’s least connected nations.

Telenor follows Qatar’s Ooredoo, which launched services on August 2.

At that time, Myanmar’s mobile penetration rate was only 10 per cent, according to government figures. Ooredoo says that since then it has sold about 1 million SIM cards, while state-backed operator Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has also increased sales.

Telenor plans to reach 90 per cent of the country within five years, a similar roll-out plan to Ooredoo’s.

Telenor will launch in the central city of Mandalay first, followed by the capital Naypyitaw and then Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, said Petter Furberg, Telenor’s chief executive in Myanmar.

“Within weeks we will be available in more than 12,000 outlets in the three main cities,” he said.

Formerly the sole telecoms provider, MPT has partnered with Japanese firms Sumitomo Corp., a trading house, and KDDI, Japan’s second-largest wireless carrier, which said they would invest about $2 billion to expand its existing network.

All three telecoms companies priced their SIM cards at 1,500 kyat (about $1.50).

Telecommunications were tightly controlled by Myanmar’s former junta, with the government monopolising the sector and selling SIM cards for thousands of dollars when they were introduced a decade and a half ago.

As a result, Myanmar had the lowest mobile penetration rate in the world. Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson said that in 2012 less than 4 per cent of the country’s population was connected.

 

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