Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

Two leading mobile phone service providers, MobiFone and Vina-Phone,
have decided to hike their fees for 3G packages for mobile internet by
25 percent, from 40,000 VND (1.9 USD) to 50,000 VND (2.4 USD) per month,
beginning in April.

They cited financial losses to popular
software like Viber, WhatsApp, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger,
Skype and iMessage that allow smart phone users to talk and send text
free based on 3G connections (Over The Top – OTT services).

Use of
OTT services comes mostly from foreign providers and is estimated to
cause losses of 100 billion VND (5 million USD) each month, around 9 -10
percent of total turnover, for local telecommunication companies.
At a recent meeting, vice general director of Viettel, Nguyen Manh Hung,
confirmed that OTT services posed a threat to local IT,
telecommunications and television companies.

These local companies
earn 80 percent of their turnover from text, talk and television.
However, these services are free in OTT services.

Free text and
talk is also calculated to cause losses of 9-10 percent in turnover for
global mobile service provider, at about 13 billion USD a year.

Figures from MobiFone show that 280,000 calls and 8.7 million text
messages from 3.5 million users are made through Viber. This causes
losses of over 1 trillion VND (50 million USD) per year for local
service providers.

MobiFone and Vinaphone explained that another
main reason for the fee increase is the huge investment needed for
infrastructure to increase capacity.

The price for 3G services in
Vietnam is reported to be the lowest in the world, 40 – 90 percent
lower than other countries.

Mobile service providers have asked the
Ministry of Information and Telecommunications to regulate ground
prices of 3G packages for OTT services.

Despite the fee increase, the capacity for the 3G package has increased by 20 percent only, from 500 MB to 600 MB.

Many customers have complained about poor quality of 3G connections in recent months.

Vietnam has around 20 million 3G subscribers, mostly belonging to MobiFone, VinaPhone and Viettel.

With the new fee increases, mobile phone service providers are expected
to take in a total of more than 100 billion VND each month.

Recently, VinaPhone added more than 5,000 base transceiver stations
(BTS) and increased its national BTS up to 30,000 and upgraded its
network from 3G to 3.5G.-VNA

By vivian