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Myanmar Names Axiata Group Bhd And Other Bidders In Race For Two Mobile Licences-Reuters

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 09:07am EDT 

Reuters reported that Myanmar has announced the names of 12 international consortia that have pre-qualified to bid for two mobile licences, moving closer to opening one of the last major untapped mobile markets. The companies include Bharti Airtel Ltd, China Mobile Ltd, KDDI CORP, MTN Group Ltd, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, Telenor ASA and Digicel, a group backed by billionaire George Soros. The pre-qualified applicants will be required to submit their applications to the committee by June 3, 2013. The committee expects to announce the names of two winners to receive 15-year telecommunications licences by June 27, it said. China Mobile has teamed up with Vodafone Group Plc, while France Telecom SA is working with Marubeni Corporation, and Africa's MTN with M1 Telecom and Amara Communications. SingTel has joined with Myanmar Telephone Co Ltd and KBZ, while KDDI has teamed up with Japan's SUMITOMO CORP and Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development Corp. Other pre-qualifiers are Axiata Group Bhd, Millicom International Cellular SA, Qatar Telecom QSC and Viettel Group. The bidding has attracted wide interest from international telecoms firms, which see huge opportunities in a country of 60 million where mobile penetration is just 5%-10%, compared with rates of over 100% in many developed markets.