Te­lenor suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions li­cense in Myan­mar

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - Glenn Man­delid Vice Pres­i­dent Group Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Head of Me­dia Re­la­tions, Te­lenor Group

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

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