Tag Archive | "mobile phones in Myanmar"

Myanmar telecom industry showing growing interest in foreign investment

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Myanmar Telecom Industry, Asian Telecommunications Companies Showing Growing Interest in Myanmar Telecom

Posted on 09 September 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar: The Myanmar Post News Journal reported that companies from Asia Telecommunication Industry are interested in investing in Myanmar’s telecommunication market and expecting to get a share of this growing market. Telecom giants and investors in telecommunication industry are starting to get aggressive in this market particularly when it comes to SIM cards, mobile phones and infrastructure developments.  Even though there’s increased investment interest in Myanmar telecommunication industry, these companies or private investors do have some setbacks when it comes to the laws and regulations of Myanmar government, The Myanmar Post News Journal reported.

As Myanmar opens its doors to foreign investment, it is said that, the government would be more open to foreigner investors to invest in Myanmar telecommunication. A senior researcher, U Tin Maung Than explains that, “People that had money, bought mobile SIM cards on the black market.  It happened in the last 10 years.  Now, those SIM cards which did cost about $3,050 US dollars are now being sold for $610 US dollars.  That is why if a private company sells a SIM card for $100 US dollars, there’s a definite profit to be made still”.

Currently,Myanmar telecommunication is monopolized by Myanma Post and Telecommunication (MPT) which is under government control and no other private company can invest in telecommunication industry.  Mr. Bertrand Bidaud, vice chairman of Gartner Research said that, Myanmar can be a big market for the company like SingTel, a large player in the telecom market in Singapore. Myanmar is one of the close neighboring countries in ASEAN and it can be a big hit for Singaporean telecom company looking at investing in Myanmar telecommunication industry.  Gartner Research also said that local investors are also capable of investing in telecommunication industry of their own country but it is still risky to invest in a country like Myanmar for the moment.

Steve Durose, a senior executive from TMT (Asia Pacific) told that “Only one thing; to invest in a new market, especially if the investment is large, the laws and regulations need to be trusted”.  The main drawn back therefore remains at the legal stage and rests within the government ability to form clear laws and regulation with regard to the telecom investment inMyanmar. If these laws are determined and are in favor for both the Burmese people and foreign investment, the market may present a lot of opportunities.

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myanmar low cost sim card

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Myanmar Low Cost SIM Card Offer Still Examined

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Rob

The heat is on with Low Cost SIM card again.  Last week, The Myanmar Times News Journal English Version, the only English language News Journal in Myanmar, put a debate about low cost SIM card at the front page.  And now, another well known news journal, The Voice Weekly, reported that there will be a statement about low cost GSM SIM card in Hlutaw (parliament), but strangely, this time the statement will be submitted by Union Solidarity and Development Party. The Voice Weekly reported that it was made known to the public by Chairman of State Development Council, U Aung Thein Linn, former mayor ofYangon, who is also a delegate of Union Solidarity and Development Party during previous election.

In a report from The Voice Weekly, U Aung Thein Linn said “It will be done for the development of our country.  All citizens will get benefits from the low cost SIM cards.  That is why we are planning to put a statement concerning with low cost SIM card in Hlutaw (parliament).”  The Voice Weekly also reported that Union Solidarity and Development Party is now discussing with technicians and getting suggestions for the statement.

It can be interesting news for the people, but the comments from the citizens are much more interesting than the news itself.  One of the people favorite among online comments is, “U Aung Thein Linn, please don’t produce only half-useful SIM cards.”  People got much delight with that comment as during previous election, Union Solidarity and Development Party in leadership of U Aung Thein Linn, reformed most of the streets in suburb of Yangon with concrete but they only paved one lane instead of the full two-lane street structure.  It was done by a deal that they would reform the remaining lane if the residences who live in the street vote for their party in election.  It is no wonder why people are so much delighted on the above mentioned comment.

Another comment was written as following, “Union Solidarity and Development Party got a new way to get people’s vote.  This time, not with concrete street, but with a SIM Card.”  Another one wrote that “whatever it is, it is good for the citizens, but it is not good if ruling government approve the statement just because the party is a big name and had a really good relationship with ex-government.”

The Voice Weekly Journal also reported that even though there were some news about government producing lower cost SIM card which is estimated to cost 200,000 Kyats (about 244 US dollar)  in first week of March, there are some rumours that the price is still not confirm yet.

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Myanmar SIM card and mobile phones

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Lower Cost GSM Mobile SIM Card In Myanmar Available This March

Posted on 20 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: In co-operation with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and 23 private companies, low cost GMS mobile SIM cards will be produced in the first week of March. It is the first step of 40 million GSM SIM Card project which is expected to produce 1.5 million in the first week of March according to a statement made by Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT). News Watch News Journal reported that the project will be launched in March and the price of a SIM card will be set at 200,000 Kyats (about 243USDollar). Myanma Posts and Telecommunications will sell 150,000 SIM cards inYangonand 1.5 million nationwide.

A shop manager, Ko Min Min, from Mr. Fone mobile shop said, “We have heard that it will be launched in first week of March but we haven’t got any confirmation yet.  If it is true, we will introduce an instalment plan for 200,000 Kyats mobile SIM cards.  Previously, we had a partnership with a private bank, but we will do it on our own this time.”

“I have heard that the launch will be on 27th of March (which is Armed Forces Day, a public holiday, inMyanmar) but I have heard various rumours on expected prices.  Actually, it should be 5,000 Kyats mobile SIM card, but I think 5,000 Kyats SIM card is still not possible yet though 200,000 Kyats is not that bad. It’s much better than current 500,000 Kyats SIM Card.” told by a resident who lives in Shwe Gon Dine township.

Even though SIM card market inMyanmarhas shown a downward pricing trend from 1,500,000 Kyats until early 2010 and then offered for 500,000 Kyats until now; most of the feedbacks from young people is clear that they are still not satisfied with the new SIM prices.  About a month ago, one private company, Shwe Pyi Ta Gon, stated that they can sell GSM SIM card inMyanmarwith 5,000 Kyats but their proposal was rejected by Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).  Since then most of the young people inMyanmarare disappointed and they are supporting Shwe Pyi Ta Gon in various ways like providing leaflets or sticker campaigns.

Lastly, one of the Facebook users commented that they will persuade citizens not to buy this upcoming 200,000 Kyats SIM cards to show they need a lower cost SIM card which the majority of population can afford in Myanmar.

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low cost mobile sim cards in Myanmar

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Low Cost Mobile SIM Card Offer in Myanmar

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Rob

The competition is heating up in the Myanmar mobile space especially when it comes to low cost SIM cards. In Myanmar, one GSM SIM card costs 500,000 Kyats, which is about 613 US Dollars, making it the world’s most expensive SIM card. But the people still have to pay 500,000 Kyats to be able to use a mobile. Until January 2010, the cost was even higher at 1,500,000 Kyats per SIM card, which translates into $1,840 US dollars.

Now, after years of high prices, the cost of mobiles seems to be plunging as a private company, Shwe Pyi Ta Gung, is trying its best to sell a SIM card for 5000 Kyats, which is about6.13 in US dollars.  “It is possible.” a spokesperson from Shwe Pyi Ta Gung said.  “Currently, it is only about 6% of population that can use a mobile phone in Myanmar”. We are going to take care of the remaining 94%.” He added.  But until now this mobile telecommunication is under control of “Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT)” and private companies cannot take part in the business.  And worse, “Myanmar Post and Telecommunication” rejected the proposal of Shwe Pyi Ta Gung, stating “it is not possible”. This was the only reason of the rejection.

On the other hand, Shwe Pyi Ta Gung said they are ready and they have all the required resources.  They only need permission from the ruling government and Myanmar Post and Telecommunication.  As the government is still staying silent with this matter Shwe Pyi Ta Gung is going to submit the people’s desire and votes to the president, U Thein Sein and all the chairmen of parliament very soon.

Shwe Pyi Ta Gung started to collect the people’s vote since 20th January.  One of the social workers from Non Government Organization reported that Shwe Pyi Ta Gung is analyzing tens of thousands of votes to prepare a statement for President U Thein Sein and government.  “We take care of people.  We want everybody to be able to use a mobile phone.  While it is not a luxury product around the world, mobile phones have been the products only the rich can buy inMyanmar. To stop this trend, we will fight our best to get a permission to produce low cost SIM cards.” said by a spokesperson of Shwe Pyi Ta Gung in its media conference.

One of the leading journals, Weekly Eleven, reported that Myanmar Post and Telecommunication is going to lower the cost of a mobile SIM card in March this year. Concerning with the rumour, the new price will be 150,000 Kyats  (184USDollar), Myanmar Post and Telecommunication said that rumour is not true.  “We are going to lower the price, but it will not be lower than 200,000 Kyats for a SIM card.  It can be 250,000 Kyats (306USDollar) or may be 280,000 Kyats  (343USDollar).” told by the spokesperson of Myanmar Post and Telecommunication.

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