Myanmar's MPT halts sale of low-cost SIMs

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 Sep 2014

Myanmar state-owned operator MPT has temporarily stopped selling its discounted SIM cards, citing concerns over black-market resalers.

MPT recently started selling SIMs for 1,500 kyats ($1.53) – a major discount compared to the sky-high prices of SIMs prior to the liberalization of the market and the entry of competing operators.

But the company has decided to temporarily stop sales of the cards due to the black market trade, Eleven Myanmarreported.

While the operator sold 700,000 SIMs during the first 10 days of September, only 480,000 of these are currently in use, according to the company. The rest are bound for the black market.

MPT urged Myanmar consumers not to buy black market SIMs, and stated that it expects to resume sales of legitimate SIM cards soon.

MPT recently entered a partnership with Japan's KDDI and Sumitomo covering the provision of fixed and mobile services in the underserved Myanmar market.

The second of two foreign operators to win a nationwide telecom license in the market – Telenor – meanwhile plans to launch service later this month. The company has announced plans to bring in millions of SIMs to support its launch.

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