Denis O’Brien’s Digicel Group is to partner with George Soros’ Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd in a bid for a telecoms licence in Burma.

The consortium, which also involves businessman Serge Pun, has submitted an application for one of two new licences being offered by the Burmese government as part of a liberalisation of the market.

Digicel currently operates in 31 countries, primarily in Central and South America.

In a statement Mr O’Brien said the company had had success in entering recently liberalised markets and was “committed to rolling out a world-class telecommunications network” in Burma.

Mr Soros said he was “delighted” to partner with Digicel and Mr Pun’s Yoma Strategic Holdings and was confident in the ability of the consortium.

China Mobile and Vodafone have also announced the formation of a consortium to bid for a Burmese licence. 

Burma has a current mobile penetration rate below 10%, compared to a rate of over 50% in neighbouring Bangladesh.