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Myanmar to announce telecom license winners

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar says the two companies that won licenses to set up the country's first foreign-owned mobile phone networks will be announced Thursday, despite efforts by parliament to push for a delay.

Currently fewer than 6 million of country's 60 million people have cellphones, giving it one of the lowest connectivity rates in the world, and international telecom consortiums are scrambling to get in.

Eleven have been shortlisted, including Singapore Telecommunications, Bharti Airtel of India, KDDI Corporation of Japan, Telenor of Norway and Digicel of the Caribbean.

Set Aung, who heads the Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee, says final-hour calls by parliament to put off the decision until a new telecommunications law is passed will have no impact.

He says the announcement will be made later Thursday.