Debt-ridden S-Fone close to shutting down

3 Dec 2013

The future prospects for cash-strapped Vietnamese mobile operator S-Telecom (S-Fone) look bleak, VietnamNet.vn reports, with the company’s backers unwilling to cough up the funds required to keep the company afloat. S-Fone, a joint venture between Saigon Post and Telecommunications and SLD Telecom (owned by a number of South Korean firms, including SK Telecom), is said to be heavily in debt to the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group and the military-backed telecoms group Viettel, although the latter has provided a stay of execution by preserving the interconnection agreement between the two parties in a bid to claw back some of the monies it is owed. If S-Fone folds, as anticipated, it is thought that any proceeds raised by the sale of the company’s infrastructure will revert to SK Telecom, which bankrolled the bulk of the network deployment.