The license includes spectrum in the 900MHz and 2.1GHz bands and is valid for 15 years. Telenor aims to provide accessible and affordable mobile communications to people across Myanmar, and will launch services within eight months after the license is awarded.
“The people of Myanmar are ready for world-class mobile services and Telenor is ready to deliver it,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group.
“A major milestone has been passed with the signing of the nationwide telecommunications license agreement with the Myanmar government. This is the start of an exciting journey in Myanmar’s development, which Telenor will support through the delivery of world-class mobile services, responsible business practices and high standards that we live by in all of our markets,” added Baksaas.
With a population of around 60 million, of which less than 10 percent have access to mobile services, Myanmar represents a strong business opportunity for Telenor in Asia. Telenor Group will build on its global and regional experience to establish Telenor Myanmar as a successful mass market operator.
There was record interest for the license award process in Myanmar with more than 91 companies expressing interest to participate. Following announcement on June 27 last year of the successful applicants, Telenor entered into consultation with the authorities to finalise details of the policy framework.
“The license is a product of an extensive consultation process with the Government of Myanmar and international organisations. It now represents an acceptable framework that we believe will go a long way to provide the necessary long-term predictability that Telenor requires when it formally starts operations in Myanmar,” said Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President of Telenor Group and Head of Telenor’s Operations in Asia.
To secure a rapid roll-out, Telenor has already appointed a management team and has initiated ongoing recruitment of employees on all levels. Currently, the company has a workforce of 150, and is expected to hire 1,000 full-time employees by the end of 2014.
“We are fully focused on a rapid roll-out of our network and establishing an extensive distribution system to make services easily available to the population. By offering high-quality products and excellent customer experience, we aim to create loyalty and trust with our customers in Myanmar,” said Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.
Telenor will build a state-of-the-art mobile network using HSPA and LTE-ready technologies, and plans to provide network coverage for 90% of the population in Myanmar within five years. Voice and data services over 2G and 3G will be commercially launched as Telenor’s initial offering, ensuring that consumers get excellent voice quality and high-speed data connectivity.
Telenor targets EBITDA break-even in Myanmar within three years after the license award. The total peak funding, defined as the license fee plus accumulated losses until operating cash flow break-even is expected to be around USD 1 billion. The license fee is USD 500 million.