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11,674 employees, the sticking point in KDDI-MPT deal

It is important that the government-owned telcos modernize their management in the face of competition by well-endowed modern companies such as Ooredoo and Telenor. If they do not, their fate will be the same as those of BTCL in Bangladesh and BSNL in India. Cash negative, if not for propping up by government using tax payer money.

But it appears that KDDI is not willing to absorb all the MPT staff. For a big country like Myanmar, 11,000 does not seem too high a number. If they do an age analysis, they may see that a significant number will retire within a few years. A round or two of VRS can reduce the numbers further. NTT managed the process well in Sri Lanka. It need not be a deal breaker.

A spokesperson for Myanmar’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) elaborated, noting that there were several issues still being hammered out: ‘The main thing we are now discussing is what appointments MPT’s staff will hold in the new partnership, as well as an agreement on technology and investment.’ The paper also cites another source requesting anonymity as saying that the main sticking point was the future of MPT’s 11,674 staff in the deal.

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