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Missing nine million will not impact new cellcos

3 Sep 2014

Newcomers to Myanmar’s mobile market Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar have played down the potential impact of a miscalculation of the country’s population, Mobile World Live reports. Provisional data for Myanmar’s first census in more than 30 years has revealed that the population is around 51.4 million, rather than the 60-61 million previously estimated by the government. The two new providers, who bid for their licences based on the higher figure, have dismissed any negative impact from the new data, a spokesperson for Qatari-backed cellco Ooredoo describing the situation as ‘business as usual,’ adding: ‘The country’s pent-up demand for mobile communication services has not been underestimated.’ Tor Odland, the VP for communications at Norwegian-owned Telenor – which is yet to begin commercial services in Myanmar – explained that the operator was aware that there was considerable risk in areas such as institutional capacity and regulatory frameworks, including uncertainty in the area of population metric: ‘In the short and long term, the results from the census have limited impact on our plans. We have a 15-year licence in Myanmar, and with our network rollout about to commence, we take a long-term view of the market opportunity.’

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