Telenor successful applicant for telecommunications license in Myanmar
On June 27 the Myanmar authorities announced that Telenor Group was a successful applicant for a nationwide telecommunications license in the country. While discussions about final terms and conditions for the license are still ongoing, Telenor Group has already started the work of establishing an operation that aims to deliver state-of-the-art mobile services that are available and affordable to all Myanmar people. On June 27 the Myanmar authorities announced that Telenor Group was a successful applicant for a nationwide telecommunications license in the country. While discussions about final terms and conditions for the license are still ongoing, Telenor Group has already started the work of establishing an operation that aims to deliver state- of-the-art mobile services that are available and affordable to all Myanmar people. It all started in January 2013 when the Myanmar authorities invited mobile operators to submit their expression of interest to participate in the license award process for two telecommunications licenses. Being one of the few remaining untapped mobile markets in the world, it came as no surprise that the opportunity to establish a mobile operation attracted a record high participation with 91 companies submitting their interest. Following an efficient and open bidding process 11 companies in the end submitted their bids on 3 June. Among them were some of the biggest mobile operators in the world. After evaluating all contributions, the Myanmar authorities announced that Telenor Group was one of two successful applicants. In a press statement following the announcement, Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group stated that Myanmar will be an important pillar in Telenor Group’s growth strategy and that the company is fully committed to responsibly leverage our group competencies to provide access to mobile communications services for the people of Myanmar” In its
“One of the most important ambitions for the Myanmar authorities was to make mobile services affordable and available to all the people of Myanmar. Today, there is only one mobile operator in the country, and services are very expensive.”
bid, Telenor Group managed to leverage on our strong experience and understanding of Asian mobile markets and utilize this knowledge to support the key ambitions of the Myanmar Government. The project team drew on resources from different parts of the group to secure that we had the best experts prepare the different areas of our proposal. In July, Telenor Group announced its top management team for its operations in Myanmar. Petter B. Furberg was appointed CEO-Designate for Telenor Myanmar, and to support him he got an executive team that had demonstrated strong leadership capabilities in driving business and technology development in Asia. Petter Furberg has close to 15 year experience from Telenor Group, and in his previous positions he has been both Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer in dtac. One of the most important ambitions for the Myanmar authorities was to make mobile services affordable and available to all the people of Myanmar. Today, there is only one mobile operator in the country, and services are very expensive. Even if prices have fallen dramatically, getting a SIM card cost around USD 200 in Yangon. Telenor Myanmar has stated that it plans to sell its SIM cards for 1500 Kyats ( USD 1,5) and that call rates will be at 25 Kyats per minute. To make services available the company plans to roll out a top modern mobile network with nationwide coverage within 5 years, and start selling its services 9 months after receiving the final license. The company will sell its SIM card though a distribution network of more than 70 000 points of sales, and make top-ups available in additional 95 000 shops. The company also plans to hire around 1000 employees directly and 2000 indirectly through partners and vendors. Establishing an organization that can drive these processes has been the key focus for the new management. The company plans to recruit employees in 3 stages, and in August the top 25 management positions was announced. The vacant positions have drawn a huge interest from Myanmar people living in the country, but also from Myanmar people living abroad that sees this as an opportunity to return home and participate in the development of the nation. To provide all employees with the necessary skills needed, Telenor Group will conduct extensive training programs. Experts from other Telenor companies will contribute in the early stages of operations, but over time more than 90 percent of employees will be local. The recent development in Myanmar is encouraging and there is a high level of optimism among the Myanmar people. However, there are still risks and uncertainties connected with entering into the country. The legal framework is weak but slowly falling into place. The local bureaucracy is not properly equipped to handle the increased workload that follows international investments. The infrastructure in parts of the country is nothing more than tracks and trails making it difficult to bring in necessary equipment for transmission sites. The country also continues to face challenges with ongoing ethnical conflicts and lack of transparency. However, we see a positive drive and determination in Myanmar to transform the nation, and we believe that Telenor Group can play a positive long term role in this development by providing a service that benefits the entire population and by being an advocate for a responsible and transparent business practice.
Petter B. Furberg, CEO Telenor Myanmar