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Myanmar to open telecoms to global companies

Overseas firms will be allowed to set up joint ventures with the government.
Myanmar plans to open its telecommunications sector to foreign investment, allowing international companies to form joint ventures with the government to build infrastructure and provide services in the nation, a senior government official said Monday.
The government will appoint a consultant in the next few months to advise on the opening of the sector and frame rules for foreign telecommunications companies operating in the country, Kyaw Soe, the principal of Telecommunications & Postal Training Centre of the Ministry of Communications, Post & Telegraphs of Myanmar, said in an interview in Singapore.
The government may allow up to three joint venture companies with foreign investment to offer telecommunications services in the country, where only 3 million people in a population of 60 million have a phone connection at present. The government aims to increase telecom density, or the percentage of the population that owns a phone, to 75% by the financial year ending March 2016, which would mean 40 million new subscribers, Mr. Kyaw Soe said.
Click here to find out more!"We want to provide greater choice to the citizens for telecom and Internet services. It should contribute to social and economic benefits of everyone," he said.
The government will insist that telecommunication infrastructure must cover rural areas, while privatization won't involve a big sell-off of government-run businesses, he said. The government will retain at least 51% ownership of any joint venture companies formed with private companies, he added.
Under Myanmar's State-Owned Economic Enterprises Law, telecommunications is primarily a state-owned enterprise and the government has the sole right to provide the service. The country is in the final stages of drafting of a new telecom law that would allow private sector participation, he said.
Myanmar is also building a nation-wide fiber-optic "backbone" to improve mobile and data services across the country. The size of the nation's fiber-optic network is now less than 1,000 kilometers, he said, but didn't give details.

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi, Dow Jones Newswires
Monday 16 July 2012

Posted by BCJP on Monday, July 16, 2012. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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