Myanmar’s Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP), a state-owned ISP, is looking to form a consortium of local partners to bid for the country’s fourth mobile licence, its CEO told the Myanmar Times.
The Times quoted YTP boss U Shane Thu Aung as stating: “We are founding a new consortium under the direction of a management committee, which includes the deputy minister of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology [MCIT].”
He said the the second stage will involve the setting up of a joint venture with a foreign partner.
Myanmar, which opened to foreign competition last year with the launch of mobile services by Ooredoo and Telenor, has seen mobile connections jump from one million to more than 18 million in just three years. MPT said recently it has about 8.4 million mobile connections. Telenor reported it now has 6.4 million mobile customers, while Ooredoo said it had 3.3 million at the end of April.
Like fellow state-owned incumbent Myanma Posts & Telecommunications (MPT), which signed a joint operating agreement with KDDI-Sumitomo last July, YTP reportedly has been looking for investment from a foreign operator.
Reports in December surfaced that Vietnam’s Viettel Global, which participated in Myanmar’s auction along with ten other shortlisted foreign investors, would invest $800 million to set up operations in Myanmar with a local partner, which many assumed would be YTP.
There have been no announcements on a possible deal by YTP or Viettel, which has previously been linked with Ooredoo and Telenor in joint investment projects.
YTP has also reportedly had discussions with Thailand’s True Corp and Malaysia’s Axiata Group.
When mobile licences were issued in 2013 to two foreign players, the government also said it would grant permits to both MPT and YTP.