People waiting in line to pay their phone bills at an MPT billing counter near Sule Pagoda, Yangon
(Photo – Kay Khaing Wint/EMG)
The Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) authorities have extended the deadline for postpaid GSM mobile phone users to switch to prepaid plans until October 31.
The previous deadline was May 31.
To switch to prepaid plans, the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone users have to text “Yes” to 18812 before the new deadline ends, said an MPT official who requested anonymity.
The GSM prepaid plan subscribers can pay their bill either through a prepaid system or at designated banks. They enjoy per-second mobile billing.
Meanwhile, the postpaid plan users are charged by the minute. They pay their bill at designated banks and MPT billing counters.
A GSM SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card in Myanmar costs around US$1,500 (1.5 million kyats).
It takes long time to get a GSM SIM as there are always many people on the queue. This drives many people to look for SIM cards in black markets.
The price of a GSM SIM card is almost double, around $3,000 (about 3 million kyats), in the black market. The price varies depending on the credibility of the owner. If the phone number is easy to remember, the price further goes up.