KDDI to help Myanmar's MPT roll out 3000 BTSs

telecomasia.net

Japanese operator KDDI and conglomerate Sumitomo plan to help Myanmar state-owned operator MPT expand its operations by more than doubling its base stations in operation by the second quarter of next year.

The companies will collaborate to ensure MPT has around 5,000 base stations in operation, up from 2,000 today, the Nikkei reported.

The Japanese companies have committed to investing a combined 200 billion yen ($1.65 billion) in mobile operations in Myanmar.

KDDI and Sumitomo were selected as partners of former monopoly operator MPT in July last year, to help it compete with newcomers Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar.

The Japanese consortium originally attempted to secure one of the two mobile licenses allocated in 2013, but were beat out by Ooredoo and Telenor. The partnership with MPT was a way to enter the Myanmar market regardless.

MPT also recently announced plans to slash its voice rates to 23 kyat ($0.02) per minute for both its GSM and CDMA plans, below the 25 kyat charged by its rivals. The price cuts were applied automatically for its postpaid customers yesterday.

The operator had originally been charging 35 kyat per minute, but Myanmar's three mobile operators are undercutting each other as they jostle for control of the market.

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