Telenor plans Myanmar LTE

The two winners of Myanmar's nationwide telecom licenses, Telenor and Ooredoo, have laid out their coverage and pricing commitments to the market.
Norway-based telecom group Telenor has pledged to rapidly roll out an LTE-ready HSPA network, Myanmar's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced.
Telenor aims to achieve geographic coverage of 83% of the nation for voice and 78% for data within five years. The operator has also committed to selling SIM cards at more than 70,000 points of sale and credit top-ups at over 95,000 points of sale by this time.
On pricing, Telenor said it will sell SIMs for less than 1,500 kyat ($1.52) and offer pre-paid peak voice tariffs at prices not exceeding 25 kyat per minute.
The company has also made commitments including a free central government SMS communication channel and free use of emergency services.
Qatar-headquartered Ooredoo has meanwhile promised nationwide mobile voice and data coverage of 84% after five years.
The operator will offer peak voice tariffs not exceeding 45 kyat per minute for off-network calls and 35 kyat for on-network calls. Ooredoo has matched Telenor's commitment for SIM pricing, and plans an offer including a free SIM.
The price of SIMs in Myanmar has been one of the major factors inhibiting mobile penetration growth in the market.
Ooredoo aims to set up an even larger distribution network than Telenor, spanning 240,000 outlets selling SIMs and 720,000 points of sale where top-ups can be bought within five years.
The operator also plans to offer VAS including mobile money, mHealth services and local video content streaming.
Ooredoo aims to invest around $60 million in corporate social responsibility initiatives over the next 10 years, including offering at least one free internet AP to all public schools, universities, libraries, hospitals and clinics in the nation.
Ooredoo plans for 99.9% of its local unit's employees to be Myanmar citizens within five years. Telenor has also committed to draw heavily from the local workforce.
Telenor and Ooredoo beat out nine other operators or operator-led consortia to win the two telecom licenses.