Telenor and Ooredoo have won the two cellular licences on offer in Myanmar, the winners in a keenly fought contest that attracted some of the world’s leading operators to an underdeveloped market with significant potential for mobile growth.

However a consortium of Orange and Japan’s Marubeni has also been chosen as a back-up candidate, should either winner not agree to certain post-tender requirements and end up not signing their licence agreements.

The Myanmar government is eager to see the winners provide a rapid boost to the country’s cellular coverage.

The two new licences, which will be valid for 15 years, will be finalised by September.

The operators will also have to share infrastructure and promise to offer low prices to end-users, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The country’s lawmakers aim to pass a new telecoms law over the next few months, so extending the current June deadline as it considers feedback from the industry that the draft legislation included “some repressive elements and cumbersome bureaucratic procedures”.