Big three cellcos fined for violating SIM registration rules

25 Jan 2013

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has fined the country’s three largest mobile operators a total of VND118.5 million (USD5,700) for violating regulations on the registration of pre-paid mobile phone subscribers, reports VietNamNet Bridge. Following an investigation carried out by the MIC and the Ministry of Public Security in Ho Chi Minh City, it was found that military-owned Viettel, and MobiFone and Vinaphone, both subsidiaries of state-owned national PTO Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT), did not follow SIM registration rules which require new customers to provide personal information when signing up for services. Additionally, a number of dealers authorised by the three companies did not meet the MIC’s basic requirements, which include having a price list displayed in plain view and photocopy and scanner machines to process paperwork. Many personnel were also unskilled and lacked professional training, the MIC said. Viettel will pay the largest penalty (VND70 million), while Vinaphone has been fined VND25 million and MobiFone VND23.5 million. The MIC’s pre-paid registration rules are aimed at curtailing the temporary use of SIM cards to take advantage of promotions offered by wireless operators.

In a separate development, the report adds that the MIC is drafting a regulation that would impose a VND20 million-VND30 million fine on companies sending advertisement text messages or emails without prior permission from the recipient. Meanwhile, sending messages with identical content within 24 hours would incur a VND10 million-VND20 million fine, and companies sending messages without allowing recipients to decline further correspondence from the sender would lead to a penalty of VND5 million.