Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has issued licences to set up and provide 3G mobile services to military-owned Viettel, Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) subsidiaries MobiFone and Vinaphone, and a joint venture between EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom Company, writes local news source VOVNews. At the award ceremony, Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop told the quartet to ensure high quality and affordable services, and serve public interests, especially in rural and isolated areas. The quartet was announced as the winners of the three 15-year concessions in April of this year.
On receiving the licence, Vinaphone’s 3G committee director Nguyen Van Yen said that the cellco will officially launch its third generation service in October in the country’s major cities, including Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, and then expand to other regions. Meanwhile, MobiFone affirmed that it will cover all the populous urban areas in the country within three months after receiving the licence. For its part, Viettel, with a strategy to invest nearly VND12.8 trillion (USD718 million) in the next three years, committed to providing 3G service to 86% of the population by April 2010 and 100% by August 2012. Finally, the consortium between EVN and Hanoi Telecom (Vietnamobile) plans to spend VND6 trillion over the next three years on the construction of 5,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) to provide 3G services to 50% of the population.