Viettel wants to cut mobile fees, maintain 3G charges
11:11 09/07/2014
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Viettel – one of the three largest mobile networks in Vietnam – has asked the Ministry of Information and Communications' permission to use the same charge for mobile phone calls made between subscribers of the same networks and those made between subscribers of two different networks.



Viettel wants to cut mobile fees, maintain 3G charges

Viettel's proposal has been warmly welcomed by users.



The new charges will be equal to those for phone calls made between subscribers of the same networks, which are currently 12.6 percent lower than those for calls between subscribers of different networks.

If the Ministry approves, Viettel will apply the new charges one week later.

"In essence it is a reduction of charges,” said Viettel's Deputy Director Hoang Son. Son added that the move aims to encourage consumption and better support customers in the use of mobile services.

He also said that if the new charges are approved, Viettel will lose about VND77 billion ($3.5 million) in revenue each month "but in the long run it will help increase revenue for us thanks to the consumption stimulus".

Viettel also asked the governing body to maintain the current 3G service charges. Son said the number of 3G users has increased by 4.5 million to nearly 7 million customers, including 2.5 million customers who changed from 2G to 3G services.

One year ago, Viettel asked the governing body's permission to raise the 3G charges. Although the idea was protested by users, three months later the Ministry of Information and Communications approved the proposal.

Mr. Pham Hong Hai, Director of the Telecommunications Department, said that telecom service providers have the right to adjust charges but they have to prove that the new charges are not below cost.

Under the Telecommunications Act, the firms that hold over 30 percent of the market like Viettel, Mobifone and Vinaphone are not allowed to sell their services below cost.

If Viettel's proposal is approved, the mobile charges will fall by 12.6 percent and more than 120 million subscribers in Vietnam will benefit from the change.

Since 2009, the mobile charges in Vietnam have been quite stable. The unit prices for prepaid subscribers are VND1,466 per minute for calls between subscribers of the same network and VND1,651 for calls between subscribers of different networks.

They are VND990 and VND1,200 for post-paid subscribers.

If the proposal is approved for Viettel, it will affect the telecom market in Vietnam because other mobile networks will have to slash their charges to compete with Viettel.

Thus, not only the 54 million users of Viettel but the total 121 million subscribers in Vietnam (as of May 2014) will also enjoy the new rates.

Viettel's proposal has been warmly welcomed by users.

S. Tung

Source Vietnamnet

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