In July, I wrote that Myanmar was about to adopt a flawed telecom law, which had the support of the Bangkok Office of the ITU. Appears that saner counsel had prevailed:
Two other sources with close knowledge said the government realized its mistakes this July, when a revised law sent to President Thein Sein was quietly recalled because it was “deeply flawed”.
A senior government official said Thein Sein wants to implement reforms fast, aware of the proven links between telecoms expansion and GDP growth and the urgent need for transparency in a crucial sector.
Expansion and liberalization would not only create thousands of jobs in a country with chronic unemployment, but it would also allow for mobile money services, like transferring cash that could be collected by a relative in rural areas by showing a simple text message.
“It’s not just phones, it’s other cross-cutting factors. It’s also very important for financial and people-centered development,” said the source, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. “It’s taken time because we want a healthy level of competition and we want to make sure we get this right.”
Clarity on regulation and the tender process is imminent, according to ministry officials, but many questions remain, particularly those regarding financing.
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