Vietnamobile seeks help amid rising competition

25 Jun 2012

Vietnamese wireless operator Vietnamobile plans to ask the government for help as competition in the wireless market intensifies, reports Viet Nam News. Pham Ngoc Lang, chairman of Vietnamobile’s parent company Hanoi Telecom, said that the operator was struggling to compete in the country’s overcrowded and highly competitive wireless market, which is dominated by three state-owned players, MobiFone, Viettel and Vinaphone. He claimed that government-owned operators have been given preferential treatment, alleging that there had also been price fixing between the three largest players. ‘We have invested billions of dollars to build a mobile network here but we face a lot of difficulties due to unfair competition. We don’t think we can survive,’ Lang said, adding: ‘We are now compiling a letter to the government asking for help.’ While at the end of 31 March 2012 Vietnamobile had an estimated market share of around 10%, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, together MobiFone, Viettel and Vinaphone held around 85% of the country’s total cellular customer base. In April Russia’s Vimpelcom announced that it had disposed of its interest in Vietnam by selling its entire 49% stake in cellco GTel Mobile, after determining that the asset was not generating significant value for shareholders. Meanwhile another operator, EVN Telecom, was handed over to military-owned Viettel earlier this year, after the company struggled to compete with larger players following a sharp decline in voice telephony rates.

Vietnam, Vietnamobile