Yangon, Myanmar, 11 June 2013 – Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) and its partners – KBZ Group and Myanmar Telephone Company (M-Tel) – today announced ground-breaking plans to develop the telecommunications industry in Myanmar. The consortium’s proposal far exceeds the Union Government of Myanmar’s requirements in many areas, including network coverage plans and service prices.
The consortium is committed to building a world-class mobile network, which will cover 95% of Myanmar population in 36 months, and bringing them affordable mobile services. Both urban and rural customers can look forward to a superior customer experience as well as innovative products and services that would transform the way they live, work and play.
Singtel has extensive operating experience in both developed and emerging markets like Indonesia, India, Thailand and the Philippines. It has a proven track record in operating fixed and mobile networks, and serves 468 million mobile customers. Together with the KBZ Group and M-Tel, which possess strong local presence and knowledge, the consortium is well-positioned to build a quality network that connects people, promotes business activities and spurs economic development.
Through Singtel’s state-of-the-art satellites and submarine cables, Myanmar will gain immediate connectivity to an extensive international network and be part of future international infrastructure projects. With enhanced global connectivity, Myanmar will be able to attract and support new business investments into the country.
To accelerate Myanmar’s development of its own international infrastructure, Singtel will invite the government to participate in feasibility studies for future satellite programmes and lend its assistance in the launch of a Myanmar national satellite. In addition, Singtel, as one of the lead parties planning the Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe (SEA-ME-WE) 5 submarine cable, will promote the inclusion of Myanmar to participate in the planning of the project. This is similar to the support Singtel extended to Myanmar during the planning and construction of SEA-ME-WE 3.
Besides infrastructural development, the consortium is also committed to creating employment opportunities and imparting global best practices in people development, marketing, customer service, operations and corporate governance to grow the local business.
Mr Mark Chong, Singtel CEO International, Group Consumer, said: “With Singtel’s vast operations in many parts of the world, our knowledge in building new infrastructure and services from the ground up is unrivalled. Myanmar and Singapore are friends in ASEAN. We want to bring more than just a domestic telecom infrastructure. We will bring international connectivity and innovative services that will improve the quality of lives of the people.”
“There are wonderful opportunities opening up in Myanmar every day. With the strength of our local partners KBZ and M-TEL, we believe wholeheartedly that, through our investment, we can make a significant contribution to Myanmar’s success story by driving service quality, innovation and employment, while attracting investments into other industries that require telecom services.”
U Nyo Myint, Managing Director, KBZ Group said: “KBZ Group is one of the largest conglomerates in Myanmar and has connections with the country going back more than 20 years. Our experience on the ground running large companies provides us with unique insights into the local operating environment. We believe that the Consortium’s proposal will elevate Myanmar to be able to compete against other global economies in the upcoming decade.”
Mr Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung, CEO, M-Tel added: “We have 60 years’ experience building businesses in this part of the world and are keen to support our country’s economic reforms. We are very excited to be partnering with KBZ and an experienced communications company like Singtel. We believe the Consortium can play a meaningful role in Myanmar’s exciting and fast-emerging economy.”
The Singtel Group is Asia's leading communications group. We provide a wide spectrum of multimedia and infocomms technology (ICT) solutions, including voice, data and video services over fixed and wireless platforms. Our main operations are in Singapore and Australia. Headquartered in Singapore, Singtel has more than 130 years of operating experience and has played a pivotal role in the country's development as a major communications hub.
We are a major communications player in Asia and Africa through our strategic investments in five regional mobile operators, namely Telkomsel (Indonesia), Globe Telecom (the Philippines), Advanced Info Service (Thailand) and PBTL (Bangladesh). The Group also has investments in Bharti Airtel (India), which has significant presence in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa.
We are a long term strategic investor and work closely with our associates to grow the business, by leveraging our scale in networks, customer reach and extensive operational experience. As at 31 March 2013, the Group served 468 million mobile customers around the world.
Singtel is largest listed company on the Singapore Exchange by market capitalisation. We are also listed on the Australian Securities Exchange following our acquisition of Optus in August 2001. The Group employs more than 21,000 staff worldwide.
About KBZ Group
KBZ Group is one of the largest conglomerates in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Its affiliates include KBZ Bank, the largest privately owned bank in the country, Air KBZ, a domestic airline and KBZ Industries, involved in cement and infrastructure development. KBZ Group’s other affiliates are involved in jade and ruby mining businesses.
KBZ Bank, the most successful and largest private bank in the country, was established in 1994. KBZ Bank’s long term objective is to participate in the growth of the country by expanding its banking services across more and more cities offering a portfolio of comprehensive products and services to businesses and consumers nationwide and in the region. KBZ Bank plays a strong role in nation building and has been the highest tax payer in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for 2011 and the second highest in 2012.
KBZ Group has a strong domestic presence and an unquestioned commitment to quality, which support the company’s operations and commercial diversity. Throughout its history of more than 20 years, KBZ Group has continuously sought to upgrade its businesses and improve quality across all business units in order to conform to international standards and effectively compete in the global market.
About Myanmar Telephone Company
Myanmar Telephone Co. Ltd. (M-Tel) is an entity incorporated in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. M-Tel has a team of Myanmar telecoms specialists who provide superior local telecom knowledge and insights. M-Tel has also participated in key telecom infrastructure projects and has developed relationships with players across the value chain.
In addition to M-Tel's activities in the telecommunication sector, the company's affiliates also focus on real estate and agriculture industries (KT Group). The KT Group has more than 60 years’ experience in setting up and managing businesses across various industries in Myanmar.
 SEA-ME-WE is a submarine cable system project. The SMW5 will be a state of the art, high speed submarine cable system; inter connecting Asia Pacific to Western Europe via Middle East and further connecting Africa through Kenya.