Vodafone, China Mobile skip Myanmar

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Myanmar Cell phoneVodafone and China Mobile, the world’s two largest mobile phone operators, announced on May 31 that they would withdraw their bids for one of Myanmar’s first two foreign mobile phone licenses due to concerns over generating sufficient returns.

The two companies, which jointly submitted a bid in the first round and made in on a shortlist of 12 candidates, said that “the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which both Vodafone and China Mobile adhere” and that “the final conditions required by the government indicate that Myanmar’s telecoms license does not meet the internal investment criteria” for either Vodafone or China Mobile.

The investment required to build up a mobile phone infrastructure in the country of 60 million people has been estimated at $2 billion. The government wants the new operator to provide mobile voice services to 75 per cent of the country geographically within 60 months, which is seen by many as a rather hard task given the fact that Myanmar’s mobile phone penetration at present is just 10 per cent. The license is granted for a period of 15 years and renewable.

However, the pull-out of the two heavyweights increases the chances for other bidders, among them Qatar’s Ooredoo, Norway’s Telenor, Singapore’s SingTel, South Africa’s MTN, France’s Orange, Japan’s KDDI and a Caribbean-domiciled consortium, Digicel Group, backed by an investment fund linked to billionaire George Soros.

The successful bidders are expected to be announced on June 27.

 

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Vodafone and China Mobile, the world’s two largest mobile phone operators, announced on May 31 that they would withdraw their bids for one of Myanmar’s first two foreign mobile phone licenses due to concerns over generating sufficient returns.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar Cell phoneVodafone and China Mobile, the world’s two largest mobile phone operators, announced on May 31 that they would withdraw their bids for one of Myanmar’s first two foreign mobile phone licenses due to concerns over generating sufficient returns.

The two companies, which jointly submitted a bid in the first round and made in on a shortlist of 12 candidates, said that “the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which both Vodafone and China Mobile adhere” and that “the final conditions required by the government indicate that Myanmar’s telecoms license does not meet the internal investment criteria” for either Vodafone or China Mobile.

The investment required to build up a mobile phone infrastructure in the country of 60 million people has been estimated at $2 billion. The government wants the new operator to provide mobile voice services to 75 per cent of the country geographically within 60 months, which is seen by many as a rather hard task given the fact that Myanmar’s mobile phone penetration at present is just 10 per cent. The license is granted for a period of 15 years and renewable.

However, the pull-out of the two heavyweights increases the chances for other bidders, among them Qatar’s Ooredoo, Norway’s Telenor, Singapore’s SingTel, South Africa’s MTN, France’s Orange, Japan’s KDDI and a Caribbean-domiciled consortium, Digicel Group, backed by an investment fund linked to billionaire George Soros.

The successful bidders are expected to be announced on June 27.

 

 

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