Country’s newest mobile operator reportedly paid $300 million for frequencies.

Myanmar this week finally awarded its fourth mobile licence to a joint venture led by Vietnam-based Viettel.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Viettel owns 49% of Myanmar National Tele and Communications (MNTC), while Star High Public Company, a unit of the Myanmar military’s Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) holds 28%. The final 23% is controlled by Myanmar National Telecom Holding – a consortium of 11 local businesses.

According to a separate report by the Myanmar Times, MNTC paid US$300 (€282.3 million) for its licence, significantly less than Myanmar’s last two mobile market entrants, Telenor and Ooredoo.

"The government fixed the $300 million fee because [MNTC] entered the market later than the other operators," leaving it with some catching up to do, explained U Zaw Min Oo, in the report.

"Almost everyone has SIM cards," he said.

With the arrival of MNTC, Myanmar is now home to two state-owned operators and two privately-controlled players.

Incumbent Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) claims 20 million users; however, that figure includes fixed as well as mobile customers.

Telenor’s and Ooredoo’s Myanmar businesses had 17.8 million and 8.8 million subscribers respectively at the end of the third quarter.

All three currently offer 4G services as well.

Ooredoo was first to market, launching 4G in May 2016. It was quickly followed by Telenor in July. Meanwhile, MPT began offering 4G services in October.