Traveling abroad asks you to have a prepaid SIM card, especially in the country where Wi-Fi is slow like in Myanmar, so knowing how to buy a prepaid SIM card in Myanmar is quite essential. Some hotels and restaurants say they have Wi-Fi but you will soon realize that the Wi-Fi is too bad to use. Even if you can connect, you’ll be much lucky to upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram. Then, get a local SIM Card and buy a data package is a way to go.
Where to purchase a Myanmar SIM card
Most people who travel to Myanmar pick up a local Myanmar SIM card at the destination airports. Also, the mobile phone shops sell the SIM cards to guests but not many people can wait until reaching the local booths. Therefore, purchase a Myanmar SIM card at the airport. Remember to buy a preferred data package so that you can use Google maps and other social media apps.
Get to know 3 mobile network operators in Myanmar
Though the hotels have Wi-Fi in the lobby, you will not want to sit in the lobby struggling with the slow Internet. Hence, prepare yourself with the Myanmar SIM Card and a data package. There are 3 mobile network operators in Myanmar as follows.
- MPT tourist SIM (the state-own company): MPT Shop (Myanmar Post and Telecommunication) in Yangon International Airport sells the visitor-specific SIM card at MMK10,000 for 1GB of data and MMK5,000 of credit valid for 10 days. Though the MPT plans are quite higher than data packages of other companies, its connection coverage is said to be the best in both big cities and outside of the large towns. That is why some visitors still use MPT for their mobiles when traveling to Myanmar. Note that prices are subject to change, so for the most current pricing and plans, go to http://www.mpt.com/mm/en
- Ooredoo (the Qatar-based company): The outlets for Ooredoo SIM cards at airports and on streets in the main cities are numerous which facilities your buys. The Ooredoo starter prices are MMK1,500 for a SIM card, MMK2,500 for 1.5 GB valid for 7 days; MMK2,999 for 2GB valid for 30 days; MMK8,999 for 6GB valid for 30 days, etc. Visit http://www.ooredoo.com.mm/en
- Telenor (the Norway-based company): The outlets for Telenor SIM cards are available in the airports and throughout the major cities. The Telenor starter package is MMK1,500 for a SIM card without credit; MMK2,999 for 2GB valid for 30 days; MMK6,999 for 5GB valid for 30 days, etc. The Telenor prices are quite similar to the Ooredoo. Starting in 2015, Telenor sells the Tourist SIM of 5GB data and 50 local minutes to travelers valid for 14 days at MMK15,000. Click https://www.telenor.com.mm/en
In sum, which Myanmar SIM card should you pick?
MPT prepaid SIM card is for the near-nationwide coverage (thanks to the widest cellular network) and their plans are more expensive than the ones of other companies. So if you travel somewhat distant, get the MPT.
Ooredoo is for the fastest Internet connection in the big cities of Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan. That said, Ooredoo owns one of the fastest 3G speeds in Myanmar cities. However, the service might quickly vanish outside of the cities or beyond the main airports.
Telenor is for the cheapest SIM cards in Myanmar. The cellular coverage of Telenor is perfect for visitors who want to talk to their family back home and the Internet access is just OK. If you want to keep constant mobile access to your family, then use Telenor service in the big cities. Remember that only MPT has the strong signals via the near-nationwide coverage, which both Ooredoo and Telenor lack.
Get Myanmar prepaid SIM cards (most people buy more than one for their dual-SIM cellphones) and be ready for the exciting discovery of the enigmatic Golden Land.
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