Myanmar orders all SIMs registered by March

05 Aug 2016

Myanmar's Directorate of Telecommunications has instructed the nation's mobile operators to complete the registration of all SIMs by next March.

The telecom regulator has revealed that any unregistered SIMs still operating by that time will be temporarily suspended, Eleven Myanmar reported.

SIMs will need to be registered based on users' national registration cards, student identity cards, drivers' licenses or passports for foreign citizens, the report states, adding that the order is aimed at stimulating mobile banking and m-commerce in the nation.

There are around 48 million SIM cards in Myanmar, a market where mobile penetration has increased by 35 percentage points over the past year to more than 89%.

While there's no data on how many of these are unregistered, the Directorate has stated that “many” SIM cards were sold to buyers who did not supply the required documents.

With the order Myanmar is joining a growing number of APAC nations requiring SIM registration, including most recently Bangladesh.

Thailand began cutting off unregistered SIMs last year, while Chinese regulators began ramping up efforts to crack down on unregistered SIMs.

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