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Singapore companies SingTel and ST Telemedia could eventually run Myanmar’s phone network

SingTel, Southeast Asia’s biggest telco, and ST Telemedia, a unit of Temasek Holdings, have indicated their interest in the telecommunications licenses that Myanmar will issue to boost its phone penetration rates, one of the lowest in Asia, reported Bloomberg.

Axiata Group, Malaysia’s largest mobile operator by market value, and Norway’s Telenor ASA have also submitted expressions of interest before the deadline on 25th January.

The country is offering two licenses to improve telecom coverage to 80 percent of the country by 2016. It currently has 5.44M mobile subscripers, or 9 percent of the population. Cambodia, meanwhile, has a 70 percent penetration rate, Laos has 87 percent, while Thailand has 100 percent.

“SingTel maintains an interest in investment opportunities in large, underpenetrated markets and will be financially disciplined in its evaluation of such opportunities,” the telco said in an email statement.

Its rival, ST Telemedia, owns stakes in technology and phone companies including StarHub, Singapore’s second largest telco. It also owns shares in mobile phone companies in Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as the largest TV operator in the Philippines.

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