One thing I have learned is not to place too much trust in promises of investment. But USD 15 billion from one company seems in the ballpark for a country that wants to go from 5 to 80 fast (that’s mobile SIMs/100). All good.
But why is the thinking fixated on operators who will do everything? They want the operators to build and operate telecenters; provide mobile money and aginfo services. Not too good. Investment is not everything. Innovation and focus matter too.
Qatari telecoms giant Ooredoo on Friday pledged to introduce “affordable” phone services to Myanmar next year as it pumps US$15 billion (S$19 billion) into one of the world’s few remaining frontier mobile markets.
The firm, which in June along with Norway’s Telenor won bids to provide mobile coverage to a nation where less than 10 per cent of the population has telephone access, should be formally awarded its 15-year 3G licence by the end of this year.
It will then start to roll out its mobile services – including money transfers and weather data for farmers – within six months, a company executive told reporters in Yangon.