The Myanmar government set an 18 December deadline for foreign operators to submit applications for the tender for the country’s fourth mobile licence, Myanmar Times reported.

The winning firm will join a consortium of 11 local companies, led by state-owned Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP). The government last month appointed Roland Berger, the consultant hired to advise on the 2013 tender, to select the international partner.

The consortium, Myanmar National Telecom, will hold a 51 per cent stake in the venture and the international partner will have a 49 per cent interest.

The fourth licence, which will be awarded by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) next year, will be valid for 15 years and can be renewed for an additional 10 years. The terms are the same as the licences given to Telenor and Ooredoo in 2013.

YTP, a local ISP, has long said it wanted to form a consortium of local partners to bid for the country’s fourth mobile licence, while Vietnam’s Viettel has previously shown interest in entering Myanmar.

The country has three operators up and running: MPT-KDDI, a joint venture between the telecoms ministry and Japan’s KDDI, with a 48 per cent market share, Telenor (37 per cent share) and Ooredoo (15 per cent share). Telenor, in particular, is growing rapidly. At end-September, it had 11.8 million subscribers, while MPT had 15 million.

The country’s mobile connections grew from 9.3 million in Q3 2014 to 31.6 million in Q3, according to GSMA Intelligence.