10 years of ‘ambushing’ Viettel’s Myanmar telecommunications market


Despite being Viettel’s newest overseas market, Myanmar has been in the carrier’s sights since more than 10 years ago.

Sharing about the Myanmar market, Viettel said that this is the market with the longest investment promotion process, with the participation of many employees of many generations of Viettel and righteous General Director Nguyen Manh Hung himself. to Myanmar not less than 20 times.

Viettel leaders are determined to stick with this market for a long time for 2 main reasons. Firstly, Myanmar and Vietnam have many cultural similarities such as location, culture, and the political relationship is always good between the two countries. The second reason is that the country’s economy still has a lot of potential for development, especially the telecommunications market is still very primitive, the state network MPT holds a monopoly position.

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Journey over 10 years, competing with 91 competitors

The potential of the Myanmar market is perhaps most clearly shown through the fact that at the time the first survey team came to this market, it was not surprising that a phone SIM here cost up to 2,000 USD. The economic shutdown and the monopoly of the state-owned MPT mobile network have made the use of telecommunications services in Myanmar a luxury, serving only the upper class.

After 10 years of “ambush”, Viettel is determined to complete the construction of 7,200 mobile phone coverage stations, 33,000 km of fiber optic cable in Myanmar.

Viettel’s path to entering the Myanmar market is also obscure because the country’s economy is not clear when it will open and if it opens, if there are any opportunities for the network operator from Vietnam.

According to the shares of Viettel cadres who first operated in Myanmar, in the early days of 2013, the way to find investment opportunities in Myanmar seemed ambiguous, suddenly sparkling with hope. On January 15, 2013, Viettel received news that the Myanmar Government officially announced the opening of the tender to grant 2 international telecommunications licenses.

After more than 10 years in the market, the Burmese government granting 2 licenses at once seems to be an impossible opportunity for Viettel. The operator himself also feels that this is an opportunity to grasp despite facing many formidable opponents, the giants in the telecommunications industry.

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As expected, the Myanmar telecommunications market as a “beautiful girl” suddenly opened, attracting big names in the world telecommunications village. There were 91 carriers around the world participating in the bidding, including the biggest and oldest carriers in the world such as Vodafone, Airtel, Telenor, Digicel … all present.

After the preliminary round, Viettel entered the group of 11 most potential carriers. However, a month later, thanks to certain advantages, Telenor and Ooredoo won the bid. The whole effort of 10 years “ambushing” Viettel’s Myanmar market seemed to collapse. But the military network operator still decided to look for the possibility of a joint venture to join the market.

Mytel is the fruit of Viettel’s 10-year journey to “ambush” the Myanmar market.

Sweet fruit called Mytel

After dropping the first opportunity nearly a year, the hope for Viettel flashed again when there was information that the Internet provider Yatanarpon (YTP) had obtained the fourth license from the Myanmar government.

Viettel immediately approached this unit to negotiate a joint venture plan. The two sides had many meeting sessions and the highest leader of Viettel at that time went to Myanmar to participate in the negotiation.

Thought all the terms were settled, the joint venture between the two sides was feasible, then only a short time later, the Myanmar Government decided to cancel the fourth license for YTP.

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Twice the opportunity missed, Viettel’s leaders still maintain their determination to enter the Myanmar market when the next opportunity comes. That opportunity came in early 2016.

The Myanmar government unexpectedly licensed a foreign operator to establish a telecom joint venture with Myanmar units and Viettel once again determined to have the key to enter this market. The deadline to prepare the bidding documents is only nearly 1 month, while the usual 3 months have forced Viettel Myanmar’s staff to triple their capacity.

Viettel Global General Director Nguyen Thanh Nam has signed a joint venture contract between Viettel and Myanmar partner to launch the Mytel brand.

Bidding documents are completed just 1 hour ahead of schedule and Viettel is the only unit in time to complete the documents. Big names like Orange, Singtel and China Telecom are not prepared to participate.

And on September 8, 2016, Viettel Global General Director Nguyen Thanh Nam officially put pen to paper on the joint venture contract between Viettel and Myanmar partner, which is a new beginning filled with Viettel’s efforts and expectations at this market.

The fruit of 10 years of “ambush” has gradually formed when on June 9, Viettel will officially launch a telecommunications network in Myanmar with the brand name Mytel, becoming the 4th operator in this country.

This is the 10th international market and has the largest population size that Viettel has ever invested (nearly 53 million people).

Ngo Minh
* Source: zing News

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