Telenor, partner still wait for Myanmar telecom licenses

Nearly half a year after Telenor and Ooredoo won the coveted telecom tenders to operate in Myanmar, the licenses that were expected in September still have not been formally awarded.

The licenses will allow Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo to operate for 15 years in Myanmar alongside state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) and Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP). Telenor initially said it would launch its mobile network in eight months, while Ooredoo said it will issue SIM cards just six months after receiving formal licenses.telenor_myanmar

The delay in awarding formal licenses was caused by parliamentary debate over the new telecommunications law, which was finally passed in October. But now, negotiations regarding the licenses and relevant operating rules, including competition in the sector, numbering, and the arrangements around connecting calls and messages between rival companies, are slowing down the process, the Irrawaddy reported on Tuesday.

“We are in discussions with the government about the draft license, and we expect that to complete by the end of this year,” said Petter Furberg, the CEO of Telenor Myanmar, during a press conference in Rangoon on Tuesday. The delay means that services from Telenor and Ooredoo will unlikely to be available before August 2014.

Source: International Business Times

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