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Vodafone, China Mobile Team Up For Myanmar License Bid

4/4/2013 9:26 AM ET

British telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc (VOD: Quote,VOD.L) and China Mobile Ltd., Thursday announced that they have signed an agreement to form a consortium to bid for a mobile telecommunications licence in Myanmar.

Vodafone said Myanmar will be an important new market for the global mobile industry. Myanmar's mobile phone penetration is currently below 10 percent, which is significantly lower than in many other emerging economies.

Vodafone and China Mobile have a strong strategic relationship since 2000. The companies stated that the two new licences will allow them to build, own and operate a mobile network on a nationwide basis for an initial term of 15 years. It is reportedly said that Myanmar will announce the winners in early July.

The government of Myanmar is in a move to increase the number of mobile operators from two to four, thereby encouraging and giving support for the development of mobile network infrastructure across the country.

The Vodafone-China Mobile pre-qualification application has been submitted to the Myanmar authorities in line with the submission deadline of April 4, 2013. However, the application for a licence is still at a preliminary stage and may or may not be ultimately successful, the companies added.

As of December 31, 2012, Vodafone has about 403 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets. It currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 50 partner networks worldwide.

China Mobile has over 720 million subscribers by the end of February 2013.

Separately, Vodafone said it is restating its results after adopting new International Financial Reporting Standards, which will be applicable for the year ending March 31, 2014.

The company intends to present the restated for the year ended March 31, 2013 along with the group's preliminary results to be issued around May 21.

VOD.L is currently trading at 185.16 pence, down 0.53 percent, on a volume of 31.46 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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