Ooredoo appoints lead Myanmar counsel

Ooredoo appoints lead Myanmar counsel

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Qatar-based Ooredoo has appointed corporate law firm Norton Rose Fulbright as an advisor for its project to roll out a nationwide network in Myanmar.
 
The law firm will serve as Ooredoo's lead international counsel for the greenfield deployment. The agreement covers advise for elements including Ooredoo's corporate social responsibility pledges.
 
Ooredoo won one of two nationwide telecom licenses in the government's recent tender offer. As part of the award, the operator has agreed to provide geographic mobile voice and data coverage of 84% of the nation within five years.
 
The company has also announced plans to invest around $60 million in corporate social responsibility initiatives over the next 10 years, including offering at least one free internet AP to all of Myanmar's public schools, universities, libraries, hospitals and clinics.
 
“The considerable corporate social responsibility initiatives which will be rolled out by Ooredoo will benefit Myanmar and its people – these include e-health and mobile education programs and mobile payment services,” Norton Rose Fulbright partner Gigi Cheah said.
 
Separately, it appears that Ooredoo will have more competition in the Myanmar market than initially expected.
 
The Myanmar Times last week detailed a development from the nation's telecom sector that had so far largely escaped international attention. An army-owned company has arranged to form a joint venture with state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecom that plans to compete with Ooredoo and Telenor.
 
The report cites government sources as saying the people in charge of the tender were unaware of the JV plans while it was taking place, but that it wouldn't have affected the process.
 
Industry watchers have expressed concern that a state-and-army-owned company may get preferential treatment, which would negate the government's goal of creating a level playing field.