MyTel to launch next month, says fourth operator’s Vietnamese partner

Myanmar’s fourth mobile operator, MyTel, is expected to launch services next month, the joint-venture’s state-owned Vietnamese partner said last week, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

MyTel was awarded an operator’s licence on January 12 last year and the announcement by Viettel Group on February 13 follows what it says was the successful completion of tests for video-calling services based on a high-speed 4G LTE network in Nay Pyi Taw.

Viettel, owned by Vietnam’s Defence Ministry, owns a 49-percent share in the joint venture, in which Star High Public Co and Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public hold 28 percent and 23 percent respectively.

Star High Public Co is a subsidiary of Tatmadaw-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd.

Myanmar will be the ninth foreign market for Viettel, which is the largest mobile operator in Vietnam, NAR said in a report from Ho Chi Minh City on February 15.

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Viettel said last year it would invest US$1.5 billion for 7,200 base stations to build a 4G network in Myanmar, NAR reported. It said MyTel aimed to extend its 4G LTE network to reach more than 90 percent of the population in three years.

Viettel said MyTel would provide mobile and fixed telecom services, content services and e-wallets in the first quarter, NAR reported.

It quoted Myanmar media as reporting that state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, which has partnered with Japan’s KDDI, dominates the market with a 42 percent share, followed by Norway-based Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo, which have 35 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Telenor and Ooredoo had a big share of the market in urban areas, and Viettel intends to cover rural and remote areas by leveraging a business model it has used in Vietnam, as well as Cambodia, Laos, East Timor and Mozambique, NAR said.

Viettel Group reported revenue of VND250.8 trillion (about $11.2 billion) in 2017 and profit before tax was VND44 trillion, it said.

Viettel says it has a 50 percent market share in Cambodia and 47 percent each in Laos and East Timor.

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