Viettel to follow MobiFone, Vinaphone with 3G price hike

4 Jul 2013

Viettel, Vietnam’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has requested permission from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to increase its 3G service tariffs, as it claims the current pricing structure does not even cover production costs, according to a report by VietNamNews. In April the country’s two other main wireless operators, MobiFone and Vinaphone, increased the cost of their unlimited 3G data plans by 25% from VND40,000 (USD1.9) to VND50,000 per month. The operators said that the higher price was necessary to offset declining revenues as a result of subscribers using smartphone apps, such as Viber and WhatsApp, to make free calls and send free messages. ‘At the beginning, we set a low 3G tariff to attract subscribers to fill the networks bandwidth, but as the number of users has increased substantially, we now have to raise our prices as the current tariffs are simply too low,’ said Viettel’s deputy general director Tong Viet Trung Trung, adding: ‘However, we are still considering the size of the increase.’