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Ooredoo Launches First Phase of Rollout; Says Getting Permits Taking Longer than Expected

Qatar’s Ooredoo said it has carried out a “successful” technical launch and testing of the first phase of its network rollout, although it’s taking longer for the company to get the permits from the government to build its sites.

The telecom firm said last week it was able to connect its MICT Park headquarters with its Data Centre and immediate surroundings.

“The network enabled testing of voice, SMS and data connectivity. In addition, integration of technology partner Huawei’s IT system enabled the performance of several key functions, including customer activation, billing and Top Up,” Ooredoo Myanmar said in a statement.

Ross Cormack, CEO of Ooredoo Myanmar said, “This successful stage of the rollout, represents an important milestone in the development of our network. It is exciting … for the growing numbers of dealers who are joining the Ooredoo family.”

During the launch event, staff members and invited participants made voice calls, sent and received text messages and they browsed the internet, the company said. Ooredoo claimed the network delivered high quality voice services and fast SMS delivery times.

“Activation and Top Up via SMS, USSD and IVR were instantaneous and web browsing services gave a great customer experience,” it said.

However, Cormack sounded caution saying that the firm is facing challenges while obtaining permits to build its sites.

“Clearly, the delivering scale within tight timeframes is challenging. Obtaining the necessary permits to build our sites is taking longer than we would have hoped.

“Finding solutions to fast-track this process is in everyone’s interests.”

Edwin Vanderbruggen, a partner at VDB Loi, one of Myanmar’s leading law and advisory firms, speaking on his own behalf said the current regulatory framework in Myanmar with respect to land use and construction does not lend itself the national rollout of network infrastructure that the operators need to undertake.

“Myanmar’s regulations on the subject do not recognise the possibility of a nationwide project. The problems with land right documentation, land use changes, lease registration and construction permits are in my personal view too big to keep the regulations as they are,” he told Myanmar Business Today.

“We need a ‘silver bullet’, a regulation that takes care of all these issues in one go.”

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