Posted November 14, 2014 10:02 pm by Comments

Five years ago, buying a cell phone SIM card in Myanmar would cost $2,000. When the country shifted to a nominally civilian government, its monopolistic state-owned carrier, Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), cut SIM card prices to $250 by last year – still a fortune in a country where the average annual income is less than $200.

In August, Qatar’s Ooredoo began selling data-enabled cards with a 3G connection for just $1.50 and by the end of September, Norwegian company Telenor ASA (OTCMKTS: TELNY) was expected to start selling 2G and 3G services across a bigger piece of the country for a comparable price. Both companies charge 2¢ to 4¢ per minute.

In addition, Japanese carriers KDDI Corp (TYO: 9433) and Sumitomo Corp (TYO: 8053) have signed deals with the Myanmar government to invest a combined $2 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade MPT’s network.

However, Ooredoo and Telenor are running into some problems as they expand their coverage.

To read the whole article, When a SIM Card Goes From $2,000 to $1.50, go to the website of BloombergBusiness.

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