Digicel Consortium Submits Tender For Mobile Phone Licence In Myanmar

Jun 03, 2013, 06:15 ET from Digicel Group

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Digicel consortium today submitted its tender application for a nationwide mobile phone licence to the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

The Digicel consortium uniquely brings together European, United States and Asian equity partners to offer unrivalled experience and ability. The consortium comprising of YSH Finance Limited (a joint venture between First Myanmar Investment Co. Limited and Yoma Strategic Holdings Limited, 'FMI/Yoma'), Digicel Group Limited and Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd, features three of the world's most recognisable businessmen – Serge Pun, Denis O'Brien and George Soros.

The Digicel consortium has committed to launching its 4G mobile phone network nationwide across rural and urban Myanmar on December 1, 2013, in time for the SEA Games hosted by Myanmar in December from and well in advance of Myanmar's ASEAN chair in 2014.

The consortium has also committed to reaching 96 per cent population coverage by the end of 2015, thus realising the Union Government's objective of rapidly increasing mobile penetration in urban and rural Myanmar and providing the citizens of Myanmar the opportunity to choose their telecommunications provider. 

"This is truly an historic day for Digicel. With FMI/Yoma and Quantum Strategic Partners, our consortium brings unrivalled expertise, local experience and resources to deliver a world-class telecommunications service to Myanmar," said Mr. Denis O'Brien - Chairman and Founder of Digicel Group Limited, in Nay Pyi Taw today.

"Our promise is 'Myanmar's Bigger, Better Network' and the Digicel Consortium will do this by delivering the best network, best service, best value and best innovation to the people of Myanmar," Mr. O'Brien added.

Mr. Serge Pun said: "As a Myanmar citizen I am very excited about the prospect of our Digicel consortium delivering a world-class service. I have seen first-hand how Digicel operates in developing markets and how they have transformed communities by making telecommunications affordable to all, especially in the rural areas."

Digicel has been active in Myanmar since 2009 in preparation for submitting its tender documents for a telecommunications licence. It is already employing 893 people nationwide and a further 3,500 talented individuals have been selected and are ready to be hired. Digicel is currently the title sponsor of the Myanmar Football Federation and the Myanmar Special Olympics Federation.

Mr. O'Brien revealed that:

  • Digicel will invest almost US$9 billion in a world-class mobile phone network. Of this US$6.6 billion will be directly invested in Myanmar
  • Employ over 7,000 people by the end the first year
  • Digicel's investment in Myanmar will lead to the creation of 124,000 indirect jobs
  • Digicel will launch its 4G mobile network and achieve 52 per cent population cover by the end of this year and rising to 96 per cent by 2016
  • The roll out will involve 7,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable and provision of 23,000 wi-fi hotspots
  • Digicel will undertake the world's largest single mobile deployment of solar power – with 7,277 solar sites
  • Another major initiative will be the provision of free connectivity to 879 hospitals, 3,900 secondary schools, 180 universities and 4,600 libraries.

Mr O'Brien said the consortium partners share the vision of the Union Government to achieve three strategic objectives:

  1. To more than triple the national economic growth of the country by 2016
  2. To bring to fruition the full potential of the people of Myanmar through the provision of the latest ICT technologies
  3. To attract direct foreign investment to Myanmar in the telecoms and other key sectors

Under the banner of 'Myanmar's Bigger, Better Network', Digicel will deliver the best network, best service, best value and best innovation to the people of Myanmar.

About Digicel

Digicel Group Limited is a leading global telecommunications provider with operations in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 12 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$4.5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams and individuals including the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt and Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel also sponsors the West Indies cricket team. 

Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.

About YSH Finance Limited

YSH Finance Ltd. is part of the SPA Myanmar Group, one of the leading business groups in Myanmar, with companies active in key business sectors, including financial services, real estate development, automobile distribution, agriculture, manufacturing, services, retail and travel and tourism.

YSH Finance Ltd. is owned by First Myanmar Investment Ltd. and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd., two public companies within the SPA Myanmar Group.

In 1992, Mr. Pun set up First Myanmar Investment Ltd. (FMI) , a public company in Myanmar with over 4,500 shareholders, all of whom are Myanmar nationals. Employing approximately 5,000 people within the Group, FMI is active in a broad range of activities in Myanmar.

In 2006, Mr. Pun led Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. to a successful listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange, which is today the only internationally publicly listed company in the world offering investors direct exposure to Myanmar.

About Quantum

Quantum Strategic Partners Limited is a multi-strategy fund that invests in capital intensive start-ups, buyouts, growth equity and other transactions. Soros Fund Management LLC (SFM) is the principal investment advisor to Quantum Strategic Partners. SFM serves as advisor to a number of Soros family private investment funds which have a multi-billion dollar aggregate asset value.

SOURCE Digicel Group