Myanmar mobile telecoms rollout receives $300m in loan financing

8 Feb 16

The Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation will provide loans worth $300m to telecommunications company Ooredoo to rollout a mobile network across Myanmar.

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A market trader on her smart phone in Myanmar

A market trader on her smart phone in Myanmar

 

The ADB and the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will mobilise $150m each to the international firm, which will use 3G technology to extend affordable mobile services across the southeast Asian country, boosting economic growth and job creation.

“Myanmar has one of the lowest rates of telecom connectivity in southeast Asia, with poor communities and women the least likely to have access to these increasingly vital services,” said Christopher Thieme, director of the ADB’s private sector operations department.

“This assistance, the ADB’s largest private sector investment to date in Myanmar, will help the government meet its target of connecting over 90% of the population, including millions of people for the first time.”

Providing widely available mobile services to support economic growth and cut poverty has been a priority for Myanmar. In 2013, only 7 out of every 100 of its citizens had access to a mobile phone.

Since Ooredoo came to the market in 2014 it has covered 80% of the population with its mobile network, and plans to use the finance to further rollout its coverage through to 2019.

With the physical infrastructure, Ooredoo Myanmar plans to develop mobile applications for banking, agriculture and maternal health, improving services for low-income groups and women.

The ADB will also carry out a technical assistance project, financed by a grant of up to $1m from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia, to examine the feasibility of using renewable energy to run telecom transmission towers.

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