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Myanmar’s MPT partners with KDDI

Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT), the state-owned fixed, mobile and international gateway monopoly-cum-regulator, is signing an agreement with Japanese operator KDDI. The latter will take control of MPT’s day-to-day operations. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) official U Than Tun Aung told Myanmar Times:

The process has been delayed for many months because so many steps are required to negotiate with MPT, since it is a state-owned business. The agreement is going to be signed at the end of the month.

MPT has been shopping for a foreign partner to safeguard its businesses from two heavyweight new entrants, Telenor and Ooredoo, which are due to launch mobile networks end of this year. It negotiated with Orange and SingTel while KDDI, despite lacking exposure to the emerging markets, has succeeded to be the preferred partner of mobile unit.

However, it is possible the government might be seeking several partners for MPT. The government wants a partner that will help MPT withstand the competition it will face when the more experienced Ooredoo and Telenor enter the mobile market.

According to GSMA Intelligence, MPT had a total of 7.6 million mobile connections at the end of Q4 2013, equivalent to a penetration of only 11.7 per cent.

As well as being the country’s sole mobile operator with a commercial service at present, MPT is also the industry’s regulator. The government plans to create a new regulator by 2015. It is also looking to sell a minority stake in MPT. A fourth company, state-backed Yatanarpon, which is mainly an internet service provider, also holds a cellular licence.

Mobile World Live reports.

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