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Struggling Hanoi Telecom seeks bandwidth for 3G
Publication Date : 08-10-2013
Hanoi Telecom, operator of struggling Vietnamobile mobile network, said it needs more telecommunication bandwidth in a bid to expand its 3G (third generation) coverage.
"The lack of bandwidth at the range of 2x15MHz makes it difficult for us to expand our 3G network and develop 3G subscribers," said Hanoi Telecom's Chairman Pham Ngoc Lang.
Lang said the lack of bandwidth will require the company to build more 3G Base Transmission Stations (BTSs) to compensate with the bandwidth inefficiency.
"This means we have to spend more money to develop the 3G network and it would reduce our competency in this emerging and competitive 3G market," Lang added.
The government has recently asked the Ministry of Information and Communications to provide Hanoi Telecom at least 10MHz of bandwidth more in order to help the fifth largest mobile network to develop its 3G service.
Vietnamobile, a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and Hong Kong-headquartered Hutchison Telecommunications International, had a market share of 8 per cent in 2012.
Its main competitors are Viettel with a market share of 40.67 per cent, Vinaphone with 30 per cent, MobiFone with 17.9 per cent, the three largest state-owned providers with a market share of almost 90 per cent. Smaller competitors are Gmobile and S-Fone.
In a separate development, mobile network providers are awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Information and Communications on when to raise fees for their 3G internet connection service.
Both Viettel and MobiFone said in a conference yesterday that they had sought permission from the ministry and were awaiting its decision.
VinaPhone deputy director Ho Duc Thang said the capacity offered to 3G users had doubled every year.
Thang said that the increase in the 3G fee did not relate to over-the-top services (OTT), which offers free phone calls and text messages such as Viber and Kakao Talk.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, telecom groups must not provide service fees lower than cost.
A MobiFone representative said that prices for the service were not lower than cost because providers needed money to improve the network.
New mobile subscriptions in Vietnam have skyrocketed in recent years, reaching 19 million in 2006, 25 million in 2007, 74 million in 2008, 98 million in 2009 and 134 million by the end of August 2013.