Vietnam’s wireline incumbent VNPT, the country’s first ADSL provider, is rapidly losing broadband market share to rivals including FPT and military-owned Viettel. VNPT’s poor performance in comparison to its competitors is being attributed to its charges, still higher than other providers despite recent tariff cuts, in addition to an over-emphasis on business clients and lengthy procedures needed for customers to sign up to its ADSL services; subscribers to alternative ISPs need only make a phone call to be connected.
By the end of April there were five main ADSL providers in Vietnam: VNPT (via data arm VDC) with around half the market and coverage of over 25 provinces and cities; FPT and Viettel, with around 30,000 and 10,000 subscribers respectively and both largely based in Hanoi and HCM City but expanding nationally; SaigonNet, centred on the HCM City region, and the newest broadband entrant Netnam. Active broadband subscriptions topped 100,000, at least six months ahead of government predictions, having shot up by over 40,000 since the start of the year. Revised forecasts now project 200,000 ADSL subscribers by 2006, with many users expected to migrate from dial-up services. However, providers are struggling to keep up with market demand – according to the regulator, the MPT, only 80% of the demand is being met.