Local Mobile Telecoms Market Upbeat in 2005

3:26:31 PM | 7/8/2005

Local Mobile Telecoms Market Upbeat in 2005


Vietnam's mobile telecoms market will see three major trends in 2005, including the surge in investment in infrastructure, the reduction in call charges and the introduction of new services.


Local mobile phone service providers predict the country will sign up 3.9 million new mobile phone subscribers this year. As more service providers are entering the market, existing providers will have to invest more in improving their service quality and reducing their charges to compete.


According to the Vietnam Post & Telecoms Corp. (VNPT), its two networks namely Vinaphone and MobiFone will invest some US$ 200 million to expand their coverage, roam with more foreign networks and offer more advanced services such as GPRS, MMS and Mobile Banking this year, aiming to sign up 2.4 million more subscribers.


Viettel Mobile, which has now become the third largest cellphone network, has set a target to sign up one million subscribers this year. In the first half of this year, Viettel will install 400 more base transmission stations (BTS), raising its total number of BTS to 1,000.


Viettel is also carrying out many other projects to develop its network infrastructure. The firm is setting up a 2.5-Gbps international channel, a 10-Gbps cable along the north-south railway and a 2.5-Gbps cable along the north-south power transmission system.


S-telecoms, the operator of the country's first CDMA network S-Fone, has said it has disbursed US$ 40 million for its expansion plan in 2005. S-Fone Chief Executive Ho Hong Son says his company is preparing investment plans for the future.


Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning & Investment has recently licensed Hanoi Telecoms and Hutchison Telecommunications to set up a joint venture to invest US$ 655.9 million in a CDMA network.


The competition among handset suppliers in Vietnam is said to be as fierce as the competition among service providers. This has remarkably reduced the prices of cellphones in the country recently.


According to a survey by the market research company GfK, there are now some 200 cellphone models of 20 brands in Vietnam. Forty-four percent of the sold cellphones have 65,000-color displays. GfK says sales of high-end cellphones, which have lager and high-resolution screens, built-in cameras and large memory sticks, will increase rapidly this year.


Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens will continue to be on top among 20 cellphone brands in Vietnam this year. Nokia and Motorola are expected to roll out more CDMA models this year.

  • Investment