Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Black market GSM prices skyrocket amid rampant demand

Demand for the newly released GSM SIMs continues to hugely outstrip supply – with cards released on July 25 selling last week for up to 100 times their face value.

The latest GSM cards are selling for more than K120,000 on the unofficial market even though they were released to the public through Myanma Posts and Telecommunications for only K1500, said Ma Pa Pa from KKA mobile shop in Kyauktada township.

“I hear the black market price of the latest GSM lines is K120,000-130,000,” she said. “I think prices will continue to rise too.”

Ma Zar Gyi Lin, general manager of Lu Gyi Min mobile shop’s head office in South Okkalapa township, agreed.

“I think that the price of the latest batch of GSM SIM lines is sure to increase,” she said. “I have heard that GSM lines are selling on the black market for more than K100,000 and I think given that the earlier release of CDMA lines saw prices rise for months after the release it’s fair to think the GSM connections will continue to appreciate.”

The SIM cards were sold through ward administrative offices, with many using a lucky draw system to cope with the high demand.

“Everybody is looking for one of the new GSM lines,” said phone user Ko Thein Htoo Aung. “I know a lot of people who put in an application for one of the K1500 lines but did not get one, so they are looking for one on the black market instead.”

CDMA phone owner Ma Aye Myat Mon said she wanted to switch from a CDMA connection to GSM because the latter has more handset options.

“I bought a K1500 CDMA SIM when they were released because I needed a phone badly,” she said. “But I want a GSM connection because I want to use an Android handset and it’s much easier to buy GSM recharge cards.”