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A solution for the problem of extremist boycott of Ooredoo in Myanmar

I think it’s perfectly alright for consumers to boycott various products. That’s almost part of consumer sovereignty. When we buy one thing, we don’t buy its substitutes.

But the 969 boycott in Myanmar has an added twist. The anti-Muslim hatemongers are asking their followers to refuse to answer calls from Ooredoo numbers. This reduces the utility of the service for those who are not Muslim haters. It’s kind of like a religion-based interconnect blocking. And we all know that blocking interconnection is a no-no.

So I was thinking what I would do if I was the regulator.

I’d press the pedal on Mobile Number Portability (MNP). This would be a first, because we normally recommend that MNP be introduced after the market has settled.

But here we can kill two birds with one stone. MNP would be implemented early reducing the need for all the convolutions around on-net/off-net price differentials, dual-SIM handsets and all that. The haters would have to figure out another way to practice the opposite of Metta.

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