Black market persists for Ooredoo SIMs

While Ooredoo SIM cards officially went on sale last week at K1500 per card, consumers in Yangon and Mandalay have reported that a black market selling cards at inflated rates has already sprung up.

Reports from Yangon and Mandalay indicate that the average price for SIMs is K5000, with some going as high as K40,000.

However, representatives from Ooredoo remain confident that by the end of the month, when their SIMs will be available in any of the company’s 6000 retailers nationwide, the black market will “disappear”.

So far, the SIMs have only had a limited release in Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw, with the larger launch coming at the end of August.

“We will try to make the black market disappear this month … We’ll make sure there’s an equal balance of supply and demand,” said U Myint Zaw, a spokesperson for Ooredoo.

U Myint Zaw went on to say that consumers are free to contact Ooredoo and report mobile shops that are marking up the cards.

It’s a problem familiar to Myanma Post and Telecommunications, who have made several attempts to release large quantaties of cheap SIM cards only to be undermined by SIM scalpers.

MPT SIMs released on April 24 for K1500 are still being resold for as much as K100000.

“We told mobile shops to sell SIM cards for K1500 officially. If mobile shops sell Ooredoo SIM cards for over K1500, customers can inform Ooredoo Myanmar by telling us the mobile shop’s location and name. We will take action and meet with any mobile shops who are selling Ooredoo SIM cards for over K1500,” said U Myint Zaw.


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