Cash-strapped telco EVN Telecom was officially merged into leading military-run telecom group Viettel from January 1, 2012.
>> Viettel to swallow up EVN Telecom
To continue the services, EVN Telecom’s fixed and mobile subscribers are obliged to register their shift to using the Viettel network, according to a Viettel notice.
Some EVN Telecom fixed line subscribers, however, complained they had registered the change but still found they were out of service in late February 2012.
The owner of a 04221xxxxx subscriber number said she shifted to the Viettel network from February 9, 2012. However, on February 26, she found she could not use the service.
Viettel explained the service cut was because fixed line subscribers did not pay December and January bills. However, those mentioned subscribers said they were not given any notice about the fee from Viettel.
“Viettel staff advised me to pay VND569,000 ($27) to procure a new handset and a simcard to get VND500,000 ($24) bonus which will later be deducted from arising service fees in later months and payment will be made automatically by the system,” said the owner of 04221xxxxx subscriber number.
“The incident is unexpected and any new Viettel subscribers which formerly used EVNTelecom network may face the same situation,” said Viettel customer service section staff.
Accordingly, Viettel announces monthly fee amounts to subscribers on the sixth day every month and automatically stops subscriber services on 26th day every month if until that date subscribers did not pay the charge.
Former EVN Telecom subscribers complained about buying a new handset and new simcard when their existing handsets were still in good condition.
Earlier, in a meeting with Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) officials, Viettel deputy general director Nguyen Manh Hung said 3G coverage to every nook and cranny in the country would be handled within several months, but not as far as 2020 if the MIC decided on frequency band restructuring and handover low frequency bands as currently used by EVNTelecom and S-Fone to strong players like VNPT or Viettel.
Industry insiders assumed there were two scenarios how Viettel would use the acquired party’s network. First, the military-run group may use the network for 3G coverage in rural areas. Second, it sells EVNTelecom’s whole CDMA technology infrastructure and use the frequency band for other purposes.