The Myanmar government has received 22 applications from bidders interested in acquiring one of two new mobile licenses in the untapped telecom market.
Myanmar deputy minister of national planning and economic development, Set Aung, told AFP that 22 companies or consortia had submitted pre-qualification applications in time for the August 4 deadline.
The government hasn't named all the applicants, but plans to announce the list of companies which have been pre-qualified on Thursday.
But ahead of this announcement, a source close to the process has providedTMT Finance with what is purportedly a list of all the initial applicants. The list includes 18 telecom operators – some of whom have already publicly announced their intention to apply – and several investment company consortia.
Operators on the list include Malaysia's Axiata, Vietnam's Viettel, India's Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, SingTel, France Telecom/Orange and South Africa's MTN.
Also on the list are China Mobile and Vodafone, which last week announced an intention to jointly apply for one of the licenses in a consortium bid.
This won't be the only joint bid. Operator group Digicel has joined forces with investment company Quantum Strategic Partners and a new holding company for their own joint bid.
Separately, Thai state-owned operator CAT Telecom has expressed interest in a project to deploy a subsea cable network linking Myanmar's Dawei with southern Thailand, Bangkok Postreported.
But it is not yet clear whether Myanmar intends to award the project to a local company or to a Thai firm.