The heavyweight partnership between Vodafone and China Mobile has dropped out of the contest to win a cellular licence in Myanmar, according to Reuters. If successful, the two companies would have included mobile health in their range of services, it was previously reported.

The two companies have decided “not to proceed with the process as the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which both Vodafone and China Mobile adhere,” said the UK operator in a statement, without being more specific about why the two companies have changed their mind.

The decision follows the publication of the final licence conditions on 20 May. The two operators announced they were forming a consortium in April.

The country’s government is said to want the mobile licence to be a catalyst for wider economic and social progress. Mobile health would have made an attractive part of any bid, along with education and money (there was also talk of Vodafone’s M-Pesa being part of any successful bid).

There are two licences on offer in Myanmar. Twelve applicants (including Vodafone-China Mobile) made it to the shortlist.