Bloomberg reports that at least three interested parties have submitted expressions of interest to the Myanmar government for telecoms operating concessions. SingTel and ST Telemedia, both of Singapore, and Malaysia’s Axiata are named as the three companies. Earlier this month the government of Myanmar revealed plans to offer two licences as it seeks to boost telecoms penetration to 80% by 2016. ‘SingTel maintains an interest in investment opportunities in large, underpenetrated markets and will be financially disciplined in its evaluation of such opportunities,’ stated Singapore’s biggest telecoms company by revenues in an e-mailed statement, adding that it submitted its interest with Myanmar-based partners. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Axiata said in an email statement to Bloomberg News: ‘It is a logical and interesting market to consider investing in. It represents a strategic market given its high growth potential.’ The concessions are expected to be awarded by June and may last as long as 20 years with an option for renewal.
Meanwhile, in separate but related news, Japanese operator KDDI says it is in talks with trading company Sumitomo to establish a joint venture to provide mobile services in Myanmar, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. KDDI is reportedly planning to bid in Myanmar’s upcoming licence tender.