Orange sets out Myanmar investment plans ahead of licence award

21 June 2013 | Kavit Majithia


French operator Orange has today set out plans for investment in Myanmar ahead of the country’s hotly contested licence auction award, due to be announced next week.

At a packed press conference, held in Yangon, Myanmar, Orange reiterated its commitment to invest in the market, should it win one of two licences up for grabs.

Elie Girard, EVP of strategy and development at the company led the presentation and spoke to a Capacity representative exclusively at the event.

“Launching in new countries and opening up a market is in our DNA and we have a long history of it,” Girard told Capacity. “We have pledged to continue to develop Myanmar’s infrastructure, which will largely be outside of commercial drivers.”

Orange is among the 11 bidders contesting for a licence, in one of the last untapped markets in the world, and the French operator claimed it is now the largest telecoms brand left in the process.

Among the developments, Orange has today pledged to set up a research facility for R&D development if it is successful. In addition, the company will also fund $14 million for an Orange foundation, which will aim to support the economic and social development in the country.

Girard said the company will look to raise employment in the country by 3,000 people directly and by 100,000 indirectly over the next few years, with a commitment to train potential employees in two schools for technical and sales development.

The company also confirmed it will start with a 3G service in the country which will be upgradable to 4G.

“By the end of year one, two thirds of the population will have mobile access,” Girard said. “We will exceed the requirements set out in the tender. It is all about coverage.”