An estimated 11 million are GSM, CDMA mobile subscribers at this time in Viet Nam. Telephone density in Viet Nam is currently 21.7 per 100 people, amounting to 18 million subscribers, and estimated to double in 2010.
However, global market analysis and research companies forecasted the total number of telephone subscribers in the country would reach 52 million by the end of 2010, including 36 million mobile subscribers, a triple rise from this year.
In the last five years, Viet Nam’s telephone usage growth, especially mobile, is considered one of the fastest in the world. However, the service quality has left much to be desired.
Mobile service providers have recently focused on competition for market share, while network coverage and infrastructure have not been sufficiently improved.
The Ministry of Posts and Telematics (MPT) considered mobile services’ quality check as one of the most important tasks in 2006, said MPT Minister Do Trung Ta.
He also advises service providers to put a base transceiver station (BTS) in a radius of 7 kilometers in provinces they covered in order to assure the network quality.
The government is planning to permit foreign investors to enter the domestic market in the form of joint ventures, after Viet Nam becomes a member of the WTO. However, there remains the issue of how big a share a foreign player is allowed to hold in a joint-venture.
As scheduled, foreign partners investing in infrastructures are allowed to have less than 49 percents, although some companies wish to have up to 90 percents.
Currently some telecom companies are in the process of privatization and foreign investors can buy shares in accordance with WTO provisions. In the meantime, Viet Nam is opening the door for more businesses to join telecommunication services.