Qatari-backed cellco Ooredoo Myanmar, which was awarded a nationwide telecoms licence through a fiercely competed contest in June this year, has announced that it intends to ‘leapfrog’ 2G technology and move straight to 3G. Mobile World Live quotes Nasser Marafih, the CEO of Ooredoo Group (previously known Qatar Telecom, Qtel Group) as saying that the company will take a 3G-only approach in Myanmar, adding that whilst advantageous in a number of respects, the strategy is still beset by challenges: ‘One of the barriers to mobile services is handsets. When we launched 3G in others markets we realised consumers still used 2G services because the 3G handsets were so expensive.’ Ooredoo’s strategy is made possible by the limitations of Myanmar’s current wireless services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, cellular penetration was less than 8% at end-June 2013, leaving Ooredoo – and fellow newcomer Norwegian-backed Telenor – with a blank slate.
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