Internet and mobile phone in Myanmar

The current situation (2018) is better than ever and has changed a lot compare to the 90's or even until 2006/2007.
Just to understand the scope of the new situation, in 2000 or 2003, a mobile cost was around 3 000 USD (a sim card more accurately) and you were not sure to get one even if you had the will to pay that amount for a SIM card.

Now, you can get a Sim Gsm phone card for 1500 or less (less than 1 Euro). Internet has also progress a lot from RTC line (one national provider only) with a choice of few provider, optics cable, Wi-Fi-max and 3G or 4G internet connection with your mobile phone.

Still, outside the main cities, and in the country side, Internet connection are still very slow or even do not exist even with your mobile phone. There is a huge margin of progression, especially for fix domestic line (prices are ridiculously high).


Wi-fi in hotels


New hotels have almost all a Wi-Fi connection, even in the room. For the older hotels, some install Wi-Fi, some Wi-Fi in the lobby only and other don't...

Bad or very slow connection:
Usually, except famous 4 stars hotels, or hotels in Nay Pyi Taw, the Wi-Fi connection in hotels are average, slow or very bad. It seems Wi-Fi is installed just to show to the customers there is a Wi-Fi network.
In Nay Pyi Taw (the capital), Internet connection is usually very good, either in Wi-fi or in 4g.

Very limited outside big cities

Speed and quality of the connection is usually bad to very bad outside the main cities (Mandalay, Yangon, Nay Pyi taw). You may have a good surprise, but even at Inle Lake, Bagan or Ngapali, the connection in hotels are usually barely usable. Outside the big cities or famous tourist place, just forget a Wi-Fi connection in hotels.

3G /4G - Internet with your mobile phone.

Most (all?) Myanmar people use their mobile phone to connect to Internet. It is so expensive to install Internet at home that it is often not even a possibility. Internet phone connections in 3g and now 4g are working very well, especially in the main cities, but also in small villages, or smaller cities. It is the most convenient and flexible solution.

You have currently (2018) three main mobile phone companies, MPT (legacy one), Telenor and Oredoo. They are more or less the same, with good to excellent connection in cities. Outside the main city, in the central plaine or in the main tourist places, connection is less good but still useable.

In the mountainous area or in the countryside, even if you have a mobile connection, you will not have internet (but they are expending the network very quickly).

Generally speaking, Internet connection via your mobile phone in 3G or 4G is the best solution (if you absolutely need to stay connected).

Buying a Sim card.

You need your passport AND your UNLOCKED mobile phone.
You can buy a Sim card in any mobile phone shop or at your arrival in Yangon airport. You need after to buy top-up card to extend your data or phone credit. It is very easy to find a top-up card. Most of small food shops, groceries, mobile phone shops can sell you a phone top-up card.
Cost range is from 1 000 kyats to 10 000 kyats (it is valid for data, sms and phone call)

Keep in mind:

When you buy a top-up card, you need to choose the one accordingly with your phone SIM card network (MPT, Telenor and Oredoo).

Buying a Sim card at the airport

Phone operators shop at the airport in Yangon are proposing very nice packages that include the SIM card, data, SMS and phone call (international and domestic). You can get up to 10 G° of internet data for less than 8 USD. Enough for your holidays.

Prices are quite low from 1 usd to 8 USD and you immediately have your internet connection.


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