Telecoms price changes due to Myanmar tax amendments
Myanmar authorities announced amendments to the Union Tax Law that will impact price of telecoms services with effect from 8 January 2022. Below statement was published by Telenor Myanmar in connection with the change.
The amendment to the Union Tax Law 2021–22 declared by the State Administration Council on 6 January 2022 specifically addresses SIM card sales and activations, as well as data service consumption through mobile or fixed networks. The law is effective from 8 January 2022 and comes on top of recently implemented price hikes on telecoms services by authority directive in December.
According to the new directive, SIM cards will receive a flat tax increase of MMK 20,000 for every new SIM card. Revenues from data services will be subject to commercial tax of 15%. The tax amendments are likely to impact pricing for all telecoms operators in Myanmar, both mobile network operators (MNOs) and internet service providers (ISPs).
Increasing the cost for obtaining new SIM cards will reduce the number of SIMs issued monthly, which has remained high in Myanmar despite high SIM penetration. TML expects customers to choose to retain and recharge their existing SIMs instead. With increased tax on data service consumption, customers must be prepared for equivalent changes in data pricing. The tax applies to both consumers and businesses, regardless of connection type (mobile/fixed). Voice and SMS consumption will not be affected by the tax amendments.
Telenor Myanmar is a licensed mobile network operator under Myanmar law and is obliged to follow directives and regulations from authorities. We are currently evaluating the tax amendments and assessing how the changes will have to impact pricing of our products and services. We will update our customers and retail partners on how and when the changes will be implemented.
All telecom operators have stopped sales of SIM cards until the changes can be reflected in respective IT systems. Price changes for data consumption should be expected on data packs across all mobile operators and internet service providers.
We regret the adverse impact on customers in terms of affordability of an essential service. Telenor Myanmar remains committed to keep the people of Myanmar connected, and will continue to strive to provide the best network experience.