Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung has formally approved the separation of MobiFone, the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers, from its state-owned parent Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT), Nhan Dan reports. National PTO VNPT, which also owns the mobile market’s third largest player Vinaphone, has been ordered to restructure its operations to increase competition in the telecoms market. Last year a proposal by VNPT to merge MobiFone and Vinaphone was rejected by the government, which is aiming to retain at least three major players in the mobile sector. Under the national PTO’s latest plan, MobiFone will become a separate entity and will undergo equitisation. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that MobiFone’s wireless customer base totalled 35.1 million at the end of 2013 (giving it a market share of 28.3%), behind military-owned Viettel with 58.1 million (46.9%) and ahead of third-placed Vinaphone with 21.6 million (17.5%).