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KDDI as first player in Myanmar market?

Reforming MPT is essential to ensure its survival in the face of skilled and well-endowed competitors. Is a partner from a high-cost, high-price telecom market the best way to do this?

Japan’s KDDI Corp and Sumitomo Corp are likely to partner of Myanmar’s state-backed telecommunications operator to expand services in one of the world’s least-connected countries, a Sumitomo official said.

Sumitomo’s deputy general manager in Myanmar, Soe Kyu, told Reuters the companies were jointly invited into “exclusive” talks about becoming the international partner of Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT), sharing its existing licence. No further details on the likely partnership were revealed.

MPT is currently the country’s sole telecoms operator as well as the industry’s regulator. The government plans to create a new regulator by 2015 and will divest a part of MPT but will retain a majority stake. That company, with a new name, will be one of four licensed operators.

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