Myanmar postpones license allocation

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
The telecom sector will have to wait a little longer to find out which international operators have won the prize of two Myanmar telecom licenses.
 
Myanmar had been planning to announce the two winners selected from the shortlist of consortia later today.
 
But the nation's lower house yesterday agreed to delay the award until a new telecom law comes into force, Reuters reported.
 
The new telecom law is currently stuck in parliament, possibly due to concerns raised by advocacy group Human Rights Watch that some components of the draft bill violate freedom of expression.
 
According to a confidential invitation to participate in the tender obtained by Reuters, consortia winning an operating license may be required to restrict or intercept communications, or let the government use their telecom equipment for undefined purposes in the event of an emergency.
 
Myanmar's mobile penetration is estimated at a mere 9%, and as such it is considered to be one of the world's last relatively untapped mobile markets
 
The nascent market is currently dominated by state-owned  Myanmar Post and Telecom, which is also the nation's telecom regulator.
 
The government plans to have a new regulator in place by 2015, and transform MPT into a majority-state-owned telecom operator.
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