Seven cellcos competing for four 3G licences

24 Jul 2008

According to VietNamNet Bridge, all seven mobile network operators – Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, S-Fone, EVN Telecom, HT Mobile and newcomer GTel – are preparing 3G concession applications, due in by 30 September. Only four next generation licences will be issued, and Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang said that there exists equal opportunities for all cellcos with 2G licences, regardless of whether their networks are CDMA-based or GSM-based. According to standards set by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the four winners must satisfy the following criteria:

1. Finance and investment: The winners must prove their financial ability to invest at least USD1 billion in 3G network infrastructure over 15 years.

2. Technology and skills: The winners must prove their capability to implement 3G networks fast and to provide broad coverage of 3G services not only in cities but in rural areas as well.

3. Business: The winners must have a network of distribution, reasonable service prices and effective business plans.

4. Human resources and training: The winners must give high priority to personnel issues and have specific criteria on human resource training.

VinaPhone CEO Hoang Trung Hai claims his company has an advantage due to its extensive 2G network coverage: the cellco deployed an additional 3,000 base stations in 2007 and plans to roll out 5,000 more in 2008.