YANGON Jan 29 Qatar's Ooredoo can
begin rolling out a telecommunications network in Myanmar after
its licence is formally awarded this week, a senior government
official said on Wednesday.
Myanmar announced in June that Ooredoo and Norway's Telenor
Group had won licences after a hotly contested bidding
process to develop networks in one of the world's least
A senior government official said the licence would be
granted to Ooredoo at a ceremony on Thursday in the capital,
Naypyitaw, after being delayed by about a month while the
government finished writing telecommunications regulations.
"The significance of this signing is it will pave the way
for them to go ahead with their operation," said the official,
who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to
Another government official who declined to be named said a
signing ceremony with Telenor would take place on Feb. 3.
Ooredoo declined comment on Wednesday. It told Reuters in
October that once its licence was awarded, it would begin
rolling out a network to cover Myanmar's four biggest cities
within six months and 97 percent of the population in five
Telecommunications were tightly controlled under decades of
military dictatorship, with the government monopolising the
sector and selling SIM cards for thousands of dollars when they
were introduced a decade-and-a-half ago.
As a result, Myanmar had the lowest mobile penetration rate
in the world, with Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson saying in
2012 that less than 4 percent of the country's 60 million people
Since 2011, a quasi-civilian government has implemented
sweeping political and economic reforms and has made
telecommunications a key part of its plan to jump-start the