Ooredoo switches on Myanmar network

New entrant operator Ooredoo (formerly Qtel) has launched voice and data services in three of Myanmar’s major cities, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon, as part of final preparations for commercial launch later this month.

Initially Ooredoo will provide a bundle of services free of charge in a kick off promotion as coverage extends beyond these three main cities to include 68 cities and towns by 15 August.

Dr Nasser Marafih, Group CEO Ooredoo said: “During the past year Ooredoo has set out to break down all the barriers that have limited the Myanmar people’s access to the best quality voice and fastest internet experience. Our aim is to support the Myanmar people and help them achieve their vast potential. We believe the services we provide will be transformational and have the ability to bring change to every aspect of our customer’s lives, from education, to healthcare, in traditional sectors like agriculture as well as driving modern-day ICT development and innovation.”

The company said that it will introduce services focusing on maternal healthcare, solutions that help the country’s unbanked and technology that improves the productivity of the nation’s large agriculture sector.

In June 2013, Myanmar’s government selected Norwegian operator group Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo as the two successful applicants for its nationwide telecommunications licences. The licensees have made a binding agreement to provide a minimum of 75 per cent geographic coverage for each region and state for voice, five years after the effective licence date. But with mobile penetration so low the country believes there is room for more challengers.

Last month Japanese operator KDDI Corporation and trade, retail and logistics firm Sumitomo Corporation reached an agreement with Myanmar Posts & Telecommunications to jointly deliver telecoms services in Myanmar.

A joint venture known as KDDI Summit Global Singapore (KSGS) has been used as a vehicle to establish a subsidiary, KDDI Summit Global Myanmar (KSGM) in Myanmar.

The southeast Asian country of Myanmar has a mobile phone penetration rate of approximately ten per cent in relation to a population of around 65 million and is expected to experience explosive growth in the future.

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