Vietnamese telcos seek opportunities in Myanmar

January 30, 2018 | 08:59 am GMT+7

Myanmar is a target market for many Vietnamese ITC conglomerates. Le Dang Dung, deputy CEO of Viettel, a military company, said among the markets Viettel has invested in, Myanmar has the biggest opportunities.


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Viettel has made outward investment

Viettel entered Myanmar soon and made every effort for years to obtain a license to develop a telecom network in the country.

Viettel was defeated by Norwegian Telenor and Qatari Ooredoo in the competition for the license to provide independent telecom service in Myanmar in 2013.

However, it stayed in the market to seek other opportunities. In 2014, Viettel planned to set up a joint venture with Myanmar’s Yatanarpon Teleport, but it was rejected by the Myanmar government. 

But Viettel continued its dream. In 2016, Viettel got approval on setting up a joint venture to provide mobile telecommunication and internet services in Myanmar. In the joint venture with two Myanmar partners MEC and SPV, Viettel holds a 49 percent stake.

Some experts comment that with the license to run the fourth mobile network in the country, the joint venture will find it difficult to compete with the other three existing networks. 
The joint venture will have to build a mobile network, while other networks are already operational.

However, Dung said Viettel has succeeded in other markets where the proportion of mobile phone users are higher than Myanmar, so there is no reason for it to fail in Myanmar.

The military group is hurrying to build infrastructure in Myanmar in a plan to put Mytel network into operation in 2018.

Meanwhile, VNPT, another Vietnamese telecom conglomerate, opened its representative office in Yangon in September 2014 to be able to more easily find business opportunities.

In October 2017, VNPT joined hands with Elite Telecom Pulic Myanmar to establish StreamNet, a joint venture, to provide internet services.

Streamnet has investment capital of $15 million in the first phase of operation, of which VNPT contributes 67 percent. The investment capital is expected to increase by hundreds of million of dollars in the next development period.

More swift-footed than the two enterprises, FPT Group opened a business in Myanmar in July 2013 and became the first foreign company which received a license to provide internet services in 2015.

FPT estimated revenue of $16 million in Myanmar in 2017 which came from implementation of a series of large projects, including one on developing national portal for the country’s information ministry, and a data center project of the finance ministry.