VietNamNet Bridge – With the low smart phone prices and 3G service fee,
Vietnam has become the fertile land for OTT apps to develop. Therefore, mobile
network operators have been told to get adapted to the OTT-age instead of trying
to eliminate it.
OTT apps allow users to improve the messaging speed, send attached files, create
text messages with more letters, and they have more advantages than the
traditional SMS service. Especially, most of the OTT apps are now free of
The OTT apps like Zalo, WhatsApp, Line also have their disadvantages.
Especially, the users have lower quality calls than traditional calls.
Meanwhile, the callers and the call recipients have to use the same apps to be
able to connect each others. OTT can be applied to mobile phones only, not to
normal phones, while mobile phone users cannot connect fixed line subscribers.
However, experts have affirmed that the above said problems would be fixed soon,
which means that Vietnam, like any other countries in the world, would witness
the OTT boom, and that the trend is inevitable.
Mobile network operators have complained that they have lost trillions of dong a
year because of the OTT app development. People tend to give up using
traditional services and shift to make calls and messages with OTT, which are
free of charge.
Though OTT has become a big and redoubtable rival, mobile network operators have
been told not to try to eliminate OTT.
A senior executive of HQBC, an international call service provider, who has been
facing the strong competition with OTT apps, also admitted that OTT is an
inevitable trend, and that mobile network operators should not try to block the
way of OTT, or the move would harm the mobile network operators themselves.
He said that if OTT apps are blocked, 3G service subscribers would not know what
to use 3G for; therefore, they may stop using 3G services.
Le Hong Minh, General Director of VNG, the enterprise which develops Zalo app,
has noted that the process of shifting the applications from computers to mobile
phones is undergoing. Therefore, the appearance of the OTT apps like Zalo, Line
or Viber, is inevitable, especially when smart phones nowadays also have the
functions like personal computers.
It is estimated that 12 million of Facebook’s members and 3.5 million of Viber’s
have been using OTT apps, a very high number of users. Therefore, if mobile
network operators blockade OTT services, this would have big influences to
customers. Meanwhile, foreign service providers may set up their servers in many
countries with different IP bands, which makes it very difficult for the mobile
network operators to blockade.
Therefore, Minh said, the wisest solution for now is that mobile network
operators should cooperate with the enterprises like VNG for mutual benefits.
According to Phan Sao Nam, President of VTC Online, mobile network operators
have been put at a great disadvantage, because they have to spent big money to
build up their infrastructure systems, but cannot earn money from the services.
However, Nam said instead of being a victim of OTT apps, mobile networks, with
tens of millions of subscribers, should cooperate with content service providers
to launch added value services.
He said OTT, in fact, is the natural son of the “couple” of telecom and digital
content. Therefore, it is necessary for the service providers to join hands for
the sovereign, users’ and businesses’ benefits.