Myanmar deal slips through MTN’s fingers

2013-06-30 14:00

Telecommunications giant MTN has expressed “disappointment” after losing out on the opportunity to build and operate a telecoms network in Myanmar.

This week the conflict-torn Asian country, formerly known as Burma, announced that Norway’s Telenor, in partnership with Qater Telecom, were the winning bidders in a hotly contested tender for establishing the country’s first private mobile network.

The contract is viewed as a watershed in Myanmar’s recent attempts to open its economy to the world and democratise its politics.

With mobile telephone penetration at only 10%, Myanmar is considered a potentially lucrative market.

“MTN is disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to operate a telecoms network in Myanmar,” the company said in a statement released this week.

South Africa’s largest publicly listed company, with a presence across the rest of Africa, said that “in keeping with our strategy to continue exploring and evaluating suitable opportunities for further growth in developing countries”, it would continue to seek opportunities.

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