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Welcome to Whose Century Is It?, a podcast exploring ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century, with stories and conversations from around the world.



Jan 14, 2016

In a few short years, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has gone from being one of the world's most isolated countries, to one most rapidly embracing change and connection with the outside world. Speeding the process has been the swift adoption of mobile phones, and especially smart phones. Just five years ago, a single SIM card could sell for $1,000. Deregulation has driven those prices down. Cheap Chinese knock-offs — and cheap Chinese-made solar panels to power them — have put mobile phones in the hands of one in three Burmese, and many have smart phones. These have empowered them, connected them, educated them and entertained them, in ways they're just beginning to explore. And it's helping their once-isolated country join the 21st century.