China Mobile’s Hong Kong-listed branch and Vodafone jointly announced that the two parties have signed a cooperation agreement to participate in the telecom license bidding in Burma.

The penetration of mobile phones in Burma is lower than 10%, making it an important emerging market in the world’s mobile communications sector. The Burmese government plans to increase the number of local telecom licenses from two to four and it encourages and supports the nationwide deployment of a mobile communications network. The government will promote mobile businesses and improve network quality and service quality, so as to accelerate the social economic development of Burma.

China Mobile and Vodafone are both leading telecom carriers in the world and the strategic cooperation between the two parties can be traced back to 2000. At present, the two companies serve over 1.1 billion customers, accounting for one-seventh of the world’s population. If taking the markets of their cooperation partners into consideration, the number of their customers will reach 1.7 billion.

Burma’s two newly issued telecom licenses will have an initial valid period of 15 years, allowing telecom operations to build, own, and operate mobile networks across the entire country.

In addition, China Mobile warned its investors in a report that this joint application of telecom license in Burma is under an initial stage, and the result is uncertain.