Gtel Mobile, a Vietnamese – Russian joint venture, launched Vietnam’s seventh mobile network, Beeline, on July 20.
Gtel Mobile general director, Alexey Blyumin, said VimpelCom -- the Russian partner – has pledged to invest US$1.8 billion in Vietnam over the next five years.
It has so far pumped in $267 million into Beeline.
The new service is initially available in 40 cities and provinces, including all major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, with a population of around 41 million.
It is expected to be available in all 63 cities and one year later.
Beeline has announced a package called “Big Zero” in which users do not have to pay for the second minute of any call to another Beeline number.
Calls to other networks will cost VND1,199 a minute and international calls will cost VND3,600. International SMS messages will be VND2,500.
Vietnam’s Global Telecom Corporation holds a 60 percent stake in GTel Mobile with VimpelCom holding the remainder.
Beeline is the brand name used in Russia by VimpelCom, the second largest cell phone operator in the former Soviet Union. It has 62.7 million subscribers in Russia and Eastern Europe.