Vietnamese military-owned group Viettel has announced its plans for its operations in Myanmar, if it is successful in securing the nation’s fourth mobile licence. The group expects to spend USD1.5 billion on the construction of a 3G network using the 900MHz and 2100MHz bands, with coverage due to reach 95% of the population within three years. Further, the Vietnamese cellco would also introduce 1800MHz LTE services if the government opts to license the additional spectrum. Viettel deputy general director Le Dang Dung was quoted by Telecom Asia as saying: ‘We enter Myanmar at this historic phase in the country’s reform era, when the country is forecast to witness accelerated economic growth, enhanced also through increased foreign direct investment. Advancing the country’s telecom infrastructure will help us drive a surge in mobile and smartphone subscription penetration, to achieve the government’s target of reaching 90% of the population by 2020.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, under the government’s plans, Viettel will form a joint venture with a consortium of eleven local companies – the Myanmar special purpose vehicle (SPV) – and the Ministry of Defence’s Star High Public Company, with the two Myanmar entities taking a 51% stake in the JV, whilst Viettel will hold the remaining 49%.