VNEconomyNews.com - Lowering charges to attract more clients is not the way telecom service providers are operating this year. Instead, mobile network operators have launched a lot of new service packages that target specific groups of clients. Meanwhile, small operators have been trying to push up investments to upgrade their infrastructure.
Everything is getting more expensive in Vietnam, except telecom service fees. This shows the competitiveness in the telecom market.
Vuong, 50, in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, has registered three post-paid Vinaphone subscriptions for his relatives. The mobile network operator has launched a new sales programme, under which it will not charge for calls with a duration of less than 10 minutes for Vinaphone subscribers, MobiFone’s subscribers and to inner-province fixed line subscribers. Those clients, who register to join the programme, besides the subscription fee of VND49, 000 a month, have to pay an additional sum of VND99,000 a month. As for those clients who only make calls to Vinaphone subscribers and to inner-province fixed line subscribers, the additional sum of money would be VND30,000 only. The programme will finish at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, Viettel is providing a new service package, charging VND2000 dong on inner-network calls with duration of less than 30 minutes. The package has validity for 24 hours after subscribers register the service. However, the service package is not applied to all Viettel’s subscribers. Only subscribers selected randomly by Viettel can use the preferential service. Meanwhile, it is still unclear about when the programme will finish.
S-Fone is now selling an eCo phone with an associated sim card at VND230,000 dong, with which clients can make calls worth VND130,000. The subscribers will be able to enjoy lifetime exemption of charges for calls and messages to selected fellow registered S-Fone subscribers, provided that subscribers have at least VND1890 on their account. Besides, clients will be exempted from daily subscription fees for the first three months. They will have to pay the subscription fee of VND1890 per day from the fourth month.
Beeline has put new subscriber numbers with prefixes 0996 into operation and it has launched its Big Zero service package with which clients can make free calls within one month.
It seems that mobile network operators do not intend to slash call charges this year in order to compete with rivals and attract more clients, the thing they have done in previous years. Instead, they plan to launch different service packages, which target specific groups of clients. Service packages for phone prove to be the application which can bring the highest turnover to network operators among the mobile services available in Vietnam.
Ho Duc Thang, Deputy General Director of Vinaphone, said every network operator tries to launch the best possible packages.
Small operators boost investments
While three big mobile network operators Vinaphone, MobiFone and Viettel feel safe about their network infrastructure and the numbers of subscribers (each mobile network has tens of millions of subscribers), small operators still have to spend more money to upgrade infrastructure conditions.
Beeline, a joint venture between Russian Vinpelcom and Vietnamese Global Corporation once committed to make coverage in all 63 provinces and cities by the end of 2010. However, the plan could not be fulfilled. Alexey Blyumin, Beeline Vietnam’s General Director has affirmed that the plan implementation will be completed in 2011. Under the plan, Beeline’s wave will reach out to remote districts.
Dat Viet quoted its source as saying that, in order to run the plan, the partners of Beeline have agreed to inject another big sum of money, estimated at $500 million. However, the disbursement plan has not been revealed.
To date, Vietnamobile has not made any move towards the launching of 3G services, which has been blamed on a lack of investment capital. Instead, Vietnamobile has been focusing on upgrading its network infrastructure on 2G technology basis.