Vietnam Net — Viettel’s mobile signal and optical cables are gradually covering more parts of Africa, with three networks already in place: Nexttel in Cameroon, Lumitel in Burundi, and Halotel in Tanzania. Its foreign investment in the continent is thriving. Only a short period after obtaining license it has quickly developed its infrastructure in the three markets.
Vietnam Net — In the first half of the year, about 1.6 million mobile phone users registered to use the 3G service, which is said to be still in the development stage in the country as the number of 3G subscribers is just a fraction of the total number of mobile phone users.
Vietnam Net — Small cable television channels fear they will be eliminated in the fierce competition between TV and telecom enterprises. Modern technologies allow telcos and televisions to provide services on the same transmission line. Instead of specific transmission lines for every kind of service, customers can use many different services, including HD TV for more than one television set and internet and voice calls.
Vietnam Net — So far this year, the AAG cable has been repaired four times. The latest repair was just completed last week. These incidents severely affected internet access in Vietnam. Last year, this cable was also broken several times. In this situation, domestic ISPs have been thinking of construction of new cables. Mr. Mai Tri Dung, Director of the International Business Center of Viettel Telecom Corporation, said that Viettel had increased the reserve capacity for 2015 in case the AAG was broken.
This was announced in Circular No. 15 issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications on June 15. Earlier, in Circular No. 18 that was issued in 2012, the ministry listed three telecom companies dominating the Vietnamese market, namely Viettel, Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT)’s MobiFone, and VinaPhone. According to the country’s Competition Law, an enterprise is considered to have SMP if its market share is higher than 30 per cent, or has the ability to restrict competition in the relevant market. At the moment, Viettel enjoys more than 50 per cent market share.
The announcement has come at a time when Asia-America Gateway (AAG), the submarine cable that is utilised the maximum, is undergoing maintenance work and repair till June 17. FPT Telecom Company said it had laid cables over land and had increased its international Internet capacity to 50Gbps to reduce the impact of AAG to the minimum. In the past few months, FPT has continuously expanded its international bandwidth to increase the Internet capacity for customers, and to limit the problems that occur when one of the lines connecting with other countries has a breakdown.
The group said that, as of the end of last year, its total turnover from overseas markets reached 1.2 billion USD, with a growth rate of 25 percent. Its pre-tax profits from its overseas operations posted a 32 percent increase to 156 million USD. Further, the group earned 278 million USD from its foreign operations so far this year. Plans call for Viettel to launch its services in the Congo, with a population of 75 million, Columbia, with 40 million people, and Myanmar with 55 million.
The Asia-American Gateway (AAG) submarine cable was cut again on April 23 morning. The breakdown is located in SH1 segment, about 300km offshore Vung Tau, which is a turn from the international line via Hong Kong (China) to Ho Chi Minh City. The incident will affect internet bandwidth from Vietnam to international destinations. Viettel, FPT and VNPT have taken some measures to restrict effects on Internet users in Vietnam. Earlier in 2015, the AAG submarine cable was cut on January 5 and it took two weeks to resolve the issue.
After three months of being developed and tested (from last December) with approximately 30,000 subscribers, Viettel has officially launched Mocha Messenger app with many features introduced to be exclusive. In addition to sending text messages, voice messages and pictures, this application also supplies music, which Viettel confirmed to be the only feature on OTT apps in Vietnam and the world. However, Mocha Messenger does not have calling features like its rivals as Zalo, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype …
On its announcement issued this week, Beeline unveiled that Sotelco Ltd, ex-owner of the Beeline Cambodia trademark, is to stop involving in the operation of the network. As from March 24, Beeline scratch cards will become invalid and all current sim cards will be shifted to Metfone system, the company declared. Beeline users will benefit from the takeover as they can access to their new provider’s advanced services such as 4G technology.
Vietnam has five mobile network operators including Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, Vietnamobile and GMobile. The three former ones hold over 90 percent of the market share. After MobiFone’s separation from VNPT, the race in the mobile market is no longer between Viettel and VNPT. It is among Viettel, MobiFone and VinaPhone–a subsidiary of VNPT.
Specifically, VNPT earned revenue of about VND101,055 billion ($4.81 billion), profit of VND6,310 billion (over $300 million), up 12% compared with 2013. By the end of 2014, VNPT had total subscribers of 30.5 million, including 26 million mobile subscribers. The number of new mobile subscribers of VinaPhone in 2014 reached 8.8 million and the number of broadband internet and IPTV subscribers were over three million and about one million, respectively.
In Vietnam, it’s tough to break into the local market with new products. On the legal side, it’s hard to get licenses for specific types of business, to get investment, and to navigate the murky realm of government policy. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options. How is it that companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Samsung, IBM, and Intel are here? These international firms made it work by developing the right relationships. Finding the right partner can go a long way. Viettel, Vietnam’s largest telco is well aware of that, and is eager to team up with international partners to bring new technology to Vietnam.
Sources from the Ministry of Information and Communications said that the Department of Telecommunication has told Viettel to stop the program to provide a fiber optic Internet connection for the education sector in the northern province of Ha Nam, called FTTH EDU. The agency said that the program violates the regulations on price management and promotion in the field of telecommunications. Reportedly, Viettel not only has to stop this program in Ha Nam, but also across the country, and to report on this issue to the Ministry.
This is a low frequency with too much interference that had caused too many problems for EVN Telecom previously, according to Doan Quang Hoan, Director of Radio Frequency under MIC, reports ICTnews online. After Viettel returned this low frequency to the MIC, Hoan said the ministry should undertake a study on how to reuse this frequency to avoid waste. However, telecom experts said it was difficult to reuse this low frequency, and that’s why Viettel had returned it to the ministry.
According to the latest ‘State of the Internet’ quarterly report by content delivery network, Akamai, Viet Nam continues to lag behind in broadband adoption. It has the second slowest Internet speed in Asia and globally ranks 117th, behind Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines. The Akamai report states that the average Internet connection speed in Viet Nam is 2 Mbps while the global average Internet speeds have reached 3.9Mbps, and the highest average peak connection speed was 21.2Mbps.
In October last year, Tech In Asia reported that Kleii, Vietnam’s equivalent of Dropbox, was in a coma. The service accumulated more than one million users, but its business model was bleeding money. Nguyen Tuan Son, the CEO of Kleii, told us in October that he was re-evaluating the service and working on new ways to release it. Now that day has come. Today, Kleii’s blog announces three major steps on its path back to being a consumer and business cloud platform.