Telenor, Ooredoo lay out Myanmar plans

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Jul 2013
Daily News
The two winners of Myanmar's nationwide telecom licenses, Telenor and Ooredoo, have laid out their coverage and pricing commitments to the market.
Norway-based telecom group Telenor has pledged to rapidly roll out an LTE-ready HSPA network, Myanmar's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced.
Telenor aims to achieve geographic coverage of 83% of the nation for voice and 78% for data within five years. The operator has also committed to selling SIM cards at more than 70,000 points of sale and credit top-ups at over 95,000 points of sale by this time.
On pricing, Telenor said it will sell SIMs for less than 1,500 kyat ($1.52) and offer pre-paid peak voice tariffs at prices not exceeding 25 kyat per minute.
The company has also made commitments including a free central government SMS communication channel and free use of emergency services.
Qatar-headquartered Ooredoo has meanwhile promised nationwide mobile voice and data coverage of 84% after five years.
The operator will offer peak voice tariffs not exceeding 45 kyat per minute for off-network calls and 35 kyat for on-network calls. Ooredoo has matched Telenor's commitment for SIM pricing, and plans an offer including a free SIM.
The price of SIMs in Myanmar has been one of the major factors inhibiting mobile penetration growth in the market.