Mobile operator Viettel has announced that it has stopped seeking new customers for its HappyZone offering, but that it will be maintaining it for the package’s existing 500,000 users. The service – which offers preferential charges to customers making calls within the zone in which they first registered – has proved highly controversial since its introduction, with rival operators and the regulator questioning its legality. A high-ranking official of Viettel said that HappyZone is a good service for housewives, students and low-income earners who do not have opportunities to go beyond the city in which they registered. But Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang said that Viettel was wrong to initiate the service without regulatory permission, customer interest notwithstanding. ‘We have asked Viettel to stop providing this service. If this firm continues to offer this service, it will have to bear responsibility,’ Thang stated.