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ADB, IFC to help extend mobile telecom services across Myanmar

Staff writer |
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, are providing loans of $300 million to Ooredoo Myanmar.

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The loan is for the rollout of a mobile telecommunication network across Myanmar, which will help extend affordable telecom services across the country, boosting economic growth and job creation.

ADB and IFC are extending a loan of $150 million each to Ooredoo Myanmar, a fully owned subsidiary of Ooredoo Q.S.C, to expand a nationwide greenfield mobile telecom network using advanced 3G technology.

In 2013, only 7 out of every 100 people had access to a mobile phone in Myanmar. Providing affordable, widely available telecom services to support economic growth and cut poverty has been a priority goal of the Government of Myanmar.

Since its entrance into the market in 2014, Ooredoo Myanmar has reached millions of customers covering 80% of the population with its 3G network.

The network rollout will be carried through to 2019. With the physical infrastructure, Ooredoo Myanmar plans to develop mobile applications for banking, agriculture, and maternal health, which will improve access to services particularly for low-income groups and women.

ADB will also carry out a technical assistance project—financed by an up to $1 million grant from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia—to examine the feasibility of using renewable energy to run telecom transmission towers.

The project will trial the use of renewable energy at selected towers with the goal of deploying it across at least 1,500 rural sites, reducing around 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

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