Myanmar has shortlisted 12 international consortia in the race for two of mobile telecom licenses, which include names such as Singapore's SingTel and M1, India's Bharti Airtel, Japan's KDDI, Africa's MTN, and China Mobile.
The pre-qualified applicants now enter the third and final stage where they will be required to submit their applications by June 3, 2013, and the winners will be announced by June 27, 2013, according to a statement Thursday by Myanmar's Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee.
The 12 shortlisted applicants comprise:
France Telecom-Orange + Marubeni
KDDI + Sumitomo + Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development Corporation (MICTDC) + A1 Construction
Millicom International Cellular S.A.
MTN Consortium (MTN Dubai + M1 + Amara Communications)
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C ("Ooredoo")
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) + KBZ + Myanmar Telephone Company Limited (M-Tel)
Telenor Mobile Communications
Vodafone + China Mobile
In order to be pre-qualified, applicants needed to satisfy objective standards in rules published in February, according to a statement Thursday by Myanmar's Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee.
"These standards were designed to ensure that all pre-qualified applicants have the requisite resources, financial strength, operating skills and experience to design, implement and operate a public telecommunications network [in Myanmar], said the committee.
Among those who failed to make the cut were China Telecom, Thailand's True Corp, Indonesia's Telkom and South Korea's SK Telecom, according to earlier expressions of interest.
The bidding has attracted wide interest following the country's move to open up to foreign firms. It is seen as one of the last untapped telecom growth markets, with a 60 million population and mobile penetration of just 5 to 10 percent.