Myanma Posts and Telecommunication started selling mobile telephones in rural areas via instalment starting October 1, an official from the Telecommunications and Postal Training Centre told The Myanmar Times last week.
U Kyaw Soe, head of the centre said: “I hope it [selling mobile phones in rural areas] would directly help to improve the socio-economic situation of rural people.”
He added that buyers would be required to pay a K40,000 downpayment and K10,000 a month in instalments.
U Kyaw Tint, a Pyinmana township administrator, said: “We held a meeting with ward and village administrators on October 2 and explained to them the plan, and made lists of applicants. But we did not take any money – applicants must pay the money into banks,” he said.
U Ko Ko, administrator for Kan Oo village in Mandalay Region, said officials told them the phones would be available within 10 days.
And while people who attended the meeting welcomed the news that they would be able to buy phones by instalment, several said the calling charges are too high.
U Hla Kyaw, a resident of Kan Oo village, said few people could afford the charges.
“Our incomes are quite low and K50 a minute is a lot of money for us. We would like the charges to be reduced,” he said.
U Kyaw Soe said buyers would be given SIM cards after they paid the downpayment but would not be given ownership documents until all instalments have been paid. Those who fail to pay their fees in a timely manner will have the line blocked, he said.
He added that the applicant had to finalise payment themselves and could not sell it to somebody else before all payments had been made.
U Kyaw Soe said the centre would pay 2 percent of each fee to the Township, Ward and Village Administration Office to start a development and supervisory fund.