Red Tape and ‘Delay Tactics’ Could Slow Mobile Phone Networks’ Rollout
Bureaucracy and “suspected” delaying tactics by the state-owned enterprise Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) will slow down the availability of Internet and mobile phone services to many parts of Burma, a survey said.
An overlap of bureaucracies is holding up the construction of new wireless signal towers, said the London Financial Times’ Asean Confidential research service.
“Despite the significant progress, a long road lies ahead for the telecoms [Ooredoo and Telenor] as they expand their networks to cover the rest of the [Burmese] population,” the paper reported, referring to the two foreign telecoms firms that were granted licenses to operate mobile services in Burma last year.
“For every tower, the contractor must acquire separate permission from the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Construction, one or more regional and district authorities, and the landowner, any one of which can cause delays in a country without streamlined approval processes.
“Ooredoo and Telenor also face a potentially hostile regulatory environment because state-owned MPT, a direct competitor, doubles as regulator for the telecom sector. It is widely suspected that MPT has delayed certain approvals in order to slow the launch of the foreign telecom networks, buying itself time to catch up.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers Fined US$25M for Breaking US Burma Sanctions
The international financial services company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been fined US$25 million for breaking the United States’ economic sanctions against Burma’s former military regime.
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