Duo rush to meet 3G launch deadline

17 May 2010

Vietnamese mobile operators EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom (Vietnamobile), which won a licence to jointly provide 3G services in April 2009, are rapidly deploying network infrastructure to meet the rollout deadline stipulated by the terms of their concession, local news source VietNamNet Bridge reports. The consortium has been given until 6 June to launch third-generation services or face losing its VND1 billion (USD51,371) deposit. EVN has so far invested VND2 trillion in the construction of around 2,500 3G base transceiver stations and plans to install an additional 5,000 under the second phase of its rollout plan, while Vietnamobile is reportedly negotiating with foreign partners to buy additional 3G equipment. EVN officials say the company is expected to launch 3G services in mid-June, with services restricted to the country’s largest cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, three other operators were awarded 3G concessions by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) in April 2009; military-owned Viettel and state-owned cellcos Vinaphone and MobiFone. Vinaphone was the first to launch 3G, in October 2009, followed by MobiFone two months later and Viettel in March 2010.

Vietnam, EVN Telecom, Vietnamobile