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Ooredoo/Telenor pact looking for tower partner; government delays licence award

22 Nov 2013

New entrants to Myanmar’s mobile market, Qatari-backed Ooredoo and Norway’s Telenor have begun holding talks with a number of tower companies regarding potential infrastructure sharing deals, TMT Finance writes, citing unnamed sources. The two operators have announced plans to share infrastructure as a means to reduce spending and hasten the rollout of networks, although the duo have been unable as yet to sign-off on a deal. Ooredoo and Telenor are looking to further reduce their spending by bringing in a third partner in the form of a tower company that would acquire a level of ownership in the infrastructure.

In related news, Myanmar’s government is yet to formally award licences to either of the new telcos. A parliamentary debate over the new telecommunications law caused initial delays, although this has been exacerbated by protracted negotiations between the providers and the government over the terms of the licences. The telcos expect to receive their concessions by the end of the year, with the launch of commercial services expected to follow in August 2014.

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