Viettel Group’s long-stated interest in entering the burgeoning Myanmar telecoms market has taken another step forward, after the Vietnamese group’s shareholders convened to vote on a planned USD800 million investment in the country.
Last month Viettel Global, the overseas investment arm of the military-run Viettel Group, announced plans to invest in Myanmar alongside an unnamed local partner. However, a company official later confirmed to Reuters that the local business in question was state-controlled internet service provider (ISP) Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP).
Partnering with YTP – which holds a full-service telecoms licence – is seen as the last way for a foreign telecoms operator to enter the potentially lucrative Myanmar market, at least in the near term. The government conducted a high-profile licensing process race for two foreign operators in 2013, with the concessions ultimately won by Telenor of Norway and Ooredoo of Qatar. Meanwhile state-owned incumbent Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) subsequently partnered with Japan’s KDDI and Sumitomo in a bid to stay competitive.