Fails to get through the bamboo curtain


16 (1)Bharti Airtel failed to win telecom licences in Myanmar with Norwegian firm Telenor and Qatar Telecommunications emerging the winners in the bidding. “The telecommunications operator tender evaluation and selection committee, with the approval of the Union government, is pleased to announce that Telenor Mobile Communications and Ooredoo have been selected as the two successful applicants in the nationwide telecom licence award process,” Myanmar presidential spokesman Ye Htut said in a statement. In total, 91 entities had submitted their Expression of Interest, highlighting the strong interest in the Myanmar telecommunications market. The interested entities come from across the world (Asia, North and Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Oceania and Africa) and include some of the largest global telecommunications companies and foreign investment firms as well as Myanmar companies, said the Myanmar government. Myanmar is planning to provide access of telecommunications to nearly 80 percent of the country in the next three years and telecom operators had to submit their bid by Jan 25 for two licences which will be issue for 20 years. The process is likely to be completed by June this year. Myanmar has 5.44 million mobile-phone subscribers as of December 2012 with a very low penetration. The region has remained untapped so far.