There is doubt whether the fourth operator can mount a credible entry, given delays that are a necessary feature of 13 partners being involved. But they are supposed to have a trump up their sleeve: the military, which is a partner through Star High Public, may give the yet-to-be-named fourth operator exclusive access to military sites for their towers. This seems anti-competitive, on the face. But because the regulator and the competition authority are not in place, they may get away with it.
Three telecom companies, including Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Ltd, Star High Public Co Ltd and Viettel from Vietnam are negotiating a business plan to form the fourth telecom company to operate in Myanmar.
“At present, they are still discussing business plans. Basically, two local companies will own 51 per cent of the shares in the telecom company, and Viettel will own 49 per cent of the shares. They haven’t announced the name of the new operator yet. After discussions conclude, they will start the licensing process. We expected the process to begin in June or July. They will prepare infrastructure while they apply for their licence. They are late in coming to the market, and they will face difficulties if they take a long time. They will have to provide services as soon as possible. The mobile market in Myanmar is larger now,” said Chit Wai, the secretary of the Organising of Public Company Forming and Tender Scrutinising Committee, on April 30.