A top executive from one of the estimated 90 companies bidding for two telecoms licenses in Myanmar has called for the government to install the necessary infrastructure that will allow the telecommunications industry to develop in the country.
“The telecommunications sector offers many opportunities, and companies can provide a variety of services in this industry,” said Lorna J. McPherson, the operations director of the Irish-owned Myanmar Digicel Company.
Speaking at the Banking, Finance and Insurance Global Summit held at Yangon’s Inya Lake Hotel on Tuesday, she said that the Central Bank must set clear guidelines for mobile banking and financial inclusion.
Speaking to Mizzima at the conference, Zaw Min Oo, the CEO of Myanmar Technology Gateway, said, “If the government intends achieving progress in the [telecoms] industry in a short term, it must implement several practical measures. At present, the government mainly focuses on developing banking infrastructure, but it must make telecoms a priority if it wants mobile banking to succeed.”
He added: “It is very important that the government promotes mobile virtual networks, because mobile banking is a measure of a bank’s performance.”
Zaw Lin Htut, the senior general manager from Kanbawza Bank, said, “Most local banks are waiting to see the mobile banking law, which seems to be coming soon. At the same time, banks can now make many preparations to launch new services to customers. If the Central Bank gives them the green light, most banks would provide such services.”
The Myanmar government will release the two telecoms licenses to foreign bidders by June. Each license could last for up to 20 years.
Two other licenses are being offered to Myanmar companies in an aim to increase Myanmar's incredibly low mobile phone penetration to around 80 percent by 2015.
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