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Viettel JV to invest $1.5 billion in Myanmar

A consortium between Vietnam’s state-owned Viettel and two Myanmar partners will pour about $1.5 billion to build 3G and 4G telecommunication networks in Myanmar.

Viettel will hold 49 percent stake in the joint venture with the remainder owned by The Myanmar National Holding Public Limited and Star High Public Company Limited.

“The Myanmar government has already granted Viettel the permission to form the telecom joint venture in the country and negotiations with the two local partners on business cooperation have almost been completed,” a Viettel’s spokeswoman told VnExpress on Saturday.

The consortium hopes its network will provide telecom services covering about 95 percent of Myanmar’s population within three years, Viettel said.

Their license will be the fourth in Myanmar. Besides Myanmar’s state-owned telecom operator MPT, Norway's Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo were also awarded licenses to enter the southeast Asian nation’s telecom market in 2014.

According to Myanmar government, more than 60 percent of Myanmar’s population has smartphones. Notably, 80 percent of users choose smartphones when purchasing a mobile phone.

Telecommunication will witness fast development given rising annual economic growth of about 8 percent, according to Viettel.