Posts filed under ‘Viettel’
HT Mobile successor, Vietnamobile, is set to launch wireless services in the first quarter of 2009, after it finishes converting its CDMA technology to GSM. Vietnamobile will be the country’s fourth GSM service provider to launch services, after MobiFone, Vinaphone and Viettel. HT Mobile, a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications, launched in 2007 and received a licence to convert to GSM in March 2008, as a result of its poor service provision. It purchased GSM equipment worth USD600 million from Ericsson and China’s Huawei in August 2008.
Vietnamese military-owned telco Viettel has announced plans to expand its network to North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, according to reports in local paper Thanh Nien Daily. Tran Phuoc Minh, deputy director of Viettel, said the company is hoping to hold negotiations with the three countries in order to gain a foothold in their still relatively underdeveloped wireless markets. The cellco expanded its network to Cambodia last year, where it signed up 100,000 wireless subscribers after two months of pilot operations, as well as Laos, where it hopes to attract 50,000 subscribers this year. Viettel had a subscriber base of 28 million at end-2008.
3G technology will be introduced in the country by the end of the year. The winners of each of Vietnam’s four 3G licences will be announced in the second quarter of 2009. All seven existing 2G cellcos, MobiFone, Vinaphone, Viettel, EVN Telecom, SPT, Hanoi Telecom and GTel, are said to be competing for the four concessions. Bui Quoc Viet of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) stated, ‘Vietnam’s telecom market expects to reach a turnover of between USD6 to USD7 billion in 2010, which promises a huge market for mobile service providers.’ He added MobiFone and Vinaphone were prepared to introduce 3G within the year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vietnam’s wireless subscriber base has increased rapidly in recent years. In September 2008 there were 55.6million wireless subscribers, a year-on-year increase of 86.6%.
Telecommunications industry insiders are predicting that 3G (third generation) technology will be introduced in Vietnam this year.
With 3G technology, mobile providers in Vietnam will be able to provide more value-added services for their mobile users such as videophone, on-line video streaming and high-speed internet and music download.
“Vietnam ‘s telecom market expects to reach a turnover of between US$ 6 to US$7 billion in 2010, which promises a huge market for mobile service providers,” said a member of the management board of VNPT Group – which operates mobile service providers Mobifone and Vinaphone.
VNPT spokesman Bui Quoc Viet said that Mobifone and Vinaphone were prepared to introduce 3G soon.
Vietnam currently has nearly 80 million mobile subscribers, of which Viettel accounts for 26 million, Mobifone 26 million and Vinaphone 20 million. The industry has seen 30 percent annual growth in recent years.
In the Ho Chi Minh City, the city’s Mobile Co’s senior technician Tran Lam Thinh said the company was preparing to introduce a metropolitan area network (MAN), linking the city with high-speed connections using fibre-optic cable and other digital media to meet increasing customer demand for high-speed internet service.
Thinh said the MAN would help serve industrial and hi-tech zones, major commercial centres, and new urban areas with high-speed connections. It would also connect State administrative agencies, facilitating the provision of e-Government services as well as promoting the growth of e-commerce.
The city’s Department of Information and Communication, HCM City People’s Committee, Dong A Bank and HCM City Water Supply Co were all preparing to utilise the MAN, Thinh said.
Mobifone has a Call Me service for subscribers who have their incoming and outgoing calls barred. It enables them to send SMS to other domestic subscribers to call them back. Subscribers can send five free domestic messages in one week.
Vietnam’s military-owned telco Viettel has claimed an annual gross profit for the year ended 31 December 2008 of USD471 million, double that of 2007. Reuters reports that the telco’s revenue for the year was about USD2 billion, 26% higher than the previous year. Viettel’s recent success is thought to be down to the expansion of its wireless network to cover the entire country. The telco extended its lead in the wireless market and now has a subscriber base of 28 million, representing a market share of 40%.