Affordable SIMs to become available from 24 April

4 Apr 2013

According to local press reports, authorities in Myanmar have announced that from 24 April low-cost SIM cards suitable for CDMA 800MHz networks will be available for just MMK1,500 (USD1.7) nationwide. In previous years, similar SIM cards sold for as much as MMK200,000 (USD223). Htay Win, chief engineer of the mobile department of Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), told Eleven Media: ‘I’m not sure what documents are necessary to buy the SIM cards since different regional governments will sell [them]. I think national registration cards and the copy of census may be compulsory’. GSM SIM cards are reportedly set to be sold in places where there is no W-CDMA coverage. Buyers of the new SIM cards will have to buy an MMK5,000 pre-paid card within 15 days of acquiring the SIM, and will have to use at least MMK2,500 worth of credit per month. However, some concerns have been expressed over the relatively small number of SIM cards that will be made available. The report cites an owner of a mobile phone shop saying that since authorities are issuing only 350,000 SIMs per month nationwide, a shortage would be inevitable, which would likely lead to a black market.