Myanmar passes telecom bill

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Aug 2013
Daily News

Myanmar parliament has passed the telecom bill which will allow the nation's mobile licensees to commence operation.

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Assembly) approved the Communications Bill this week, state-run New Light of Myanmarsaid on Wednesday.

“As the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw approved the Communications Bill, [state-run telco] MPT and international operators can launch their operations,” the paper cites MP U Phone Myint Aung as saying. “They are waiting for this bill.”

He said the government plans to form a committee that will in future oversee the communications tasks of the nation.

The Myanmar government in June awarded nationwide telecom licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo, as part of a plan to open up the nation's telecom sector to international investors and improve Myanmar's thin teledensity.

The operators beat out stiff competition to secure the licenses, including sole or consortia bids from SingTel, Bharti Airtel, Axiat and, KDDI.

Telenor and Ooredoo have each committed to rolling out mobile services to at least 83% of the nation by geography within the first five years of operation, and to offer SIMs and mobile service pricing at a fraction of the cost of currently-available offerings.

Other international telecom players have flocked to the market to provide different telecom services. KDDI, NTT Com and Hutchison Global Communications Limited have all secured international voice and data services licenses.

PT Telkom meanwhile picked up the tender to manage Myanmar's international network connectivity, and Sumitomo, NEC and NTT won a deal to enhance the nation's emergency communications infrastructure.

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