Chunghwa Telecom chairman Lu Hsueh-chin, left, shakes hands with HTC CEO Peter Chou. (Photo/CNS)
Taiwan's largest telecom company, Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), together with leading smartphone maker HTC will cooperate with overseas firms to invest in the largest telecom company in Myanmar, according to Chunghwa chairman Lee Yen-sung on Wednesday.
Myanmar Posts & Telecommunications (MPT), the target of the investment, is the largest state-run telecommunications company in the country.
The group, consisting of CHT, HTC, Japanese trade firm Marubeni and French telecom company Orange, has signed a confidentiality agreement with MPT.
In March 2013, former CHT chairman Lu Shyue-ching and HTC CEO Peter Chou signed an agreement to deepen cooperation between the two Taiwanese companies, including expanding their overseas business.
The Myanmar government earlier granted ten-year 3G operating licenses to Norwegian telecom giant Telenor and Qatar's Ooredoo. CHT's consortium was first on the waiting list, according to officials.
However, the Myanmar government said there were 91 firms interested in obtaining an operating license. Therefore, it was unlikely a consortium led by Taiwan would be chosen to fill the vacancy.
CHT still chose to enter the Myanmar market in collaboration with HTC and other international firms, eyeing the potential of Myanmar's opening market.
Lee said that once the investment is finalized, CHT will be in charge of building the mobile network and running operations in the Southeast Asian country.
Myanmar has a population of 60 million people, though only 9% have mobile phones. The country's government aims to see usage increase to 80% by 2016.
Huawei holds a 70% share of the country's mobile phone market, followed by Samsung and Sony. HTC did not release models in Myanmar until the beginning of this year.