Vietnam’s Saigon Post and Telecommunication Company (Saigon Postel) and its South Korean partner, SK Telecom, have decided to shift to the joint venture mode of business in their joint mobile network S-Fone.
The information has driven away rumor that SK Telecom is going to completely stop investment in the mobile network, Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper said, quoting a private source of information as saying.
Launched in 2003, S-Fone has been operating in the form of business cooperation contract (BCC) for the last six years. However, the BCC mode has become outdated and considered by the foreign partner as a problem given that the foreign partner’s capital is increasing, yet all legal decisions are still made by the local partner.
The new form of cooperation, however, still waits for the government’s permission.
The S-Fone network, which uses CDMA technology rather than GSM, has a total investment capital of US$230 million.
The negotiation talks between the two partners to decide on a new cooperation model prolonged for several months, causing a lot of rumor about the future of S-Fone.
Vietnam currently has seven mobile phone networks: Vinaphone, MobiFone, Viettel, S-Fone, EVN Telecom, Vietnamobile and Beeline.