Non-existent subscribers are using up phone numbers

15 May 2007

English online journal Vietnam Bridge reports that only a year after the Ministry of Post and Telematics (MPT) granted enough new GSM mobile network codes for 90 million more phone numbers, cellcos VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel will run out numbers in the next few months. The problem has been put down to promotional campaigns which are encouraging customers to buy SIM cards rather than recharge cards, even though they have to change their phone numbers, which has led to a huge amount of phantom subscribers. To deal with the waste of phone number resources, the MPT intends to issue regulations on the effective use of phone numbers and is talking with mobile network operators to set the rates of effective use. According to one official, the Ministry suggests 70% for mobile and 85% for fixed phone networks.