Govt. Cronies to Distribute GSM Phones
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Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Burma

Govt. Cronies to Distribute GSM Phones


By THE IRRAWADDY Monday, August 1, 2011


Burmese government will distribute four million GSM phones in 2011, five million in 2012, six million in 2013, seven million in 2014 and eight million in 2015.
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RANGOON—Four large companies in Burma, with close ties to government leaders and military generals, will handle the first phase of a project to distribute four million GSM phones in the country, it has been claimed.

According to the Burmese Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, the five-year project involves 30 million GSM phone handsets.

The companies were reportedly granted a contract to cooperate with Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) for the distribution of mobile phones worth less than 500,000 kyat [US$ 644] and construction of radio-communication bases.

The firms include E-lite Tech owned by Business tycoon Tayza, Shwe Than Lwin Media, Asia Mega Link and International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE) owned by sons of Aung Thaung—former industry minister and secretary of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Except from IGE and Shwe Than Lwin Media, the other two companies were granted permission for the second time in two months as they had already been permitted in June to sell GSM phones worth 500,000 kyat together with Yatanapon Teleport, a state-run internet service provider in Burma.

News came out earlier that the cell phones will cost only 300,000 kyat [$386], but MPT officials said this was not necessarily true as the price was yet to be fixed.

Zaw Min Oo, chief of engineers at the MPT, told The Irrawaddy that phones will cost less than 500,000 kyat.

“We have started construction of radio bases and GSM towers across the country. I think we will be able to begin phone distribution this coming December and early 2012. Four millions phones will be distributed during the first phase of the project.

“This time we have planned for users to be able to buy refill cards at department stores and other shops like in foreign countries. Phone will cost less than 500,000 kyat,” confirmed the MPT official.

He added that 200,000 phones will be distributed each month, which will mainly be handled by the four companies.

Thein Tun, minister for the MPT, told participants at a special projects consultation meeting that the new government will manage to reduce phone prices steadily so that every citizen will be able to use mobile phones in the near future.

He said his government will distribute four million GSM phones in 2011, five million in 2012, six million in 2013, seven million in 2014 and eight million in 2015.

“We still have to pay hundreds of thousands of kyat for a mobile phone while people in other countries can use them almost free of charge. We are behind them in everything,” said a businessman in Rangoon.

“The government wants to control the communication sector for political reasons and that's why it has become like this. In fact, if the government allows competent foreign communication companies to be involved everyone could use phones with cheap prices,” he added.

According to official statistics from the MPT, there are between two and three millions phone lines for over 50 million people living in Burma.

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david Wrote:
03/08/2011
When you look at history, Myanmar is the first country that use tele-communication system in Asia(the whole asia). But today the last and less develop in communication system in Asia. Myanmar Government don't be afraid of media/IT communication. be free so that this can be one or another way to show the world that Myanmar is free for all. Be aware of that.

Oo Maung gyi Wrote:
02/08/2011
The government treat the peoples of Buma like a beast, keep no value. Since 1962 the military took over the country peoples become day by day poor and slave. Telecommunication is public welfare not political tools. Why the government has to povide only their conices's companies. They sould call tender in should issue licence to the good bitters who offered more royalty. This counbtry rulers are so bad and one sided to favour only their families and closed peoples those give them big kick back.

Than Shwe Wrote:
02/08/2011
Sorry! I couldn't help. Even prostitutes in Cambodia are holding two or three phones but in Myanmar people still do have to wait 20 more years to hold even outdated hand phones. Because I need to save tons of money for my family first.

kerry Wrote:
02/08/2011
Do they think the world does not see who is profiting from the deals and suffering?

Always thinking of new ways to take money from the people and give nothing to the country.

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