Russians forced to pay for Chinese SIM cards due to war with Ukraine

The largest Russian mobile operators faced problems in the supply of SIM cards due to the war with Ukraine: after February 24, purchases from European vendors stopped, and Russian companies had to reorient themselves to the eastern market. The costs of operators have grown, and now they are shifting them to the Russians, who will have to pay 50 rubles extra for a SIM card, Kommersant writes about this with reference to market participants.

MegaFon and its subsidiary Yota have already announced the introduction of a fee for issuing a SIM card. Vimpelcom (Beeline brand) intends to introduce a similar fee from June 21, MTS - from June 24, and Tele2 - from August 1. Moreover, in some regions, operators have already begun to sell SIM cards even before the introduction of this fee officially. “This allows you to partially compensate for the costs of the operator to connect a new subscriber, including the costs of the SIM cards themselves, the cost of which has increased significantly in 2022,” a Megafon representative told the publication.

The publication notes that the transition to Chinese SIM cards cost companies a decent amount: one SIM card became 3.5 times more expensive for companies, or 250%. TelecomDaily CEO Denis Kuskov explained to the publication that earlier operators did not take money for SIM cards, because they expected to recoup the costs of long-term use on the part of the subscriber, but now most people buy SIM cards for a short period and leaving them free is simply unprofitable for companies. At the same time, experts admit that the rise in communication prices will not end there: by the fall, the rise in price of SIM cards can reach 420%.

There is no own production of SIM cards in Russia, since this business is profitable only with very large production volumes; it also makes no sense to create it within the country, since the market is already saturated, and the prospects for growth are extremely doubtful. Experts note that due to problems with SIM cards, high-tech industries, such as the Internet of things, may suffer.

American Daily Newspaper

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