Earlier today in Myanmar, the Ministry of Information announced on TV that SIM prices in the country will drop from 230,000 kyats (about $260) to 1,500 kyats on April 24th. A public relations official for the ministry also posted the news to his Facebook page (link in Burmese), garnering a massive response. (Here’s a tweet in English about the news.)
The news comes fresh on Google’s visit to the country, when Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, announced a similar price drop. Earlier announcements hinted at lower price but didn’t say what it would be. A scandal in January also cleared the way for today’s news, when a ministry official who was said to have blocked lowering SIM prices was ousted from the government as part of a corruption probe.
Quartz has reported previously on the plummeting prices of Myanmar’s SIMs over the last several years. Though its mobile-phone penetration rate is among the lowest in the world, rivaling North Korea’s, Myanmar’s networks are set to expand fast, with penetration due to grow from 9% to 80% by the end of 2015. The drop in SIM prices certainly opens the way for that.