Myanmar Data PlanBurma Data Plan
Which prepaid mobile phone SIMs should you buy in Myanmar?
Almost forward to now: On my last visit in July 2015 I purchased two of them, and each of them reset me about 4 to 6 dollars a piece (with the equivalent of 1 GB of web data to boot). Prior to 2013, Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) had a choking grip on mobile phone lines across Myanmar.
MPT now has a lot of rivalry from two overseas movers: Qatar-based Ooredoo and Norwegian-based Telenor. If you are flying to one of the two most important European destinations in the world, you will find newsstands for all three pre-paid SMS service provider in the arrivals hall. MPT, the former monopolist of mobile phone connectivity in Myanmar, remains in the hands of the Myanmar authorities and is subject to the control of the army (which may discourage the purchase of mobile phone service by travelers with responsibility).
However, as the first company, it has the broadest mobile phone coverage in the state. When your route involves excursions away from Mandalay, Yangon and the tourist city of Bagan, you should buy an MDT pre-paid SMS if you want continuous text and phone calls.
When your Myanmar correspondents came to visit, Ooredoo's lead pitchman was a shocked-looking teenage boy who stared at a smart phone display, probably downloading something at a crazed speed. The Ooredoo web provides more than its language service, and it is true: The Ooredoo has one of the highest 3G speed in the world.
Advertisements omit the fact that the Ooredoo services quickly disappear as soon as you dare to go beyond the towns or large airfields (my sign is a few mile from Heho International to Pindaya). That may have already change when I walked past Ooredoo's mobile phone towers under development in Pindaya's city the next ore.
When you need to get online, get an Ooredoo phone number. They gave me free 1 GB for 2 GB Internet connection in addition to the bundle I got! Unfortunately, Inle Lake and Pindaya were deaths. I had a relapse in Pindaya when Telenor panicked because I could not talk to my home for 24h.
In Pindaya I estimated their great cover, along with the fact that their pre-paid SIM did not exceed MMK 1,500 (about $1.25) at the moment of acquisition. In contrast to Ooredoo, Telenor concentrated more on a broader cover right out of the goal; they have already passed Ooredoo in the cell cover, although they started later.
In my view, your web connection is fine, albeit somewhat more costly than Ooredoo's, despite its lower speed. Really wise natives buy a binary SMS phone (a mobile phone that can use two SMS devices at the same time) and use two of the above mentioned vendors. I had a mobile with MPT and Telenor.
I would still buy an Ooredoo SIM if I had a new edition, but instead of Telenor I would buy an MP3 for a call-and-text back up. On Inle Lake (where Telenor had not yet set foot), my bosun talked to his boyfriend over an MDT link while I stared at my signalless cell phone; I might as well have been looking at a rock.