More positive changes expected for telecoms market

December 14, 2023 | 08:00
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The newly adopted amended Law on Telecommunications is expected to bring fresh air to the local market from next July. Nguyen Phong Nha, deputy general director of the Authority of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Information and Communications, talked to VIR’s Tung Anh about the positive changes and how to ensure effective enforcement.

What are the highlights of the newly adopted amended Law on Telecommunications?

More positive changes expected for telecoms market
Nguyen Phong Nha, deputy general director of the Authority of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Information and Communications

The amended Law on Telecommunications, adopted by the National Assembly on November 24, comprises 10 chapters and 73 articles and will take effect from July 2024. The law regulates the management of data centre services, cloud computing, and basic telecommunications services on the internet.

The law has a number of new points compared to the previous ones. Specifically, the state management and development of digital infrastructure is legalised in such a law for the first time. The law supplements some key components of digital infrastructure, including data centres and cloud computing.

Management of over-the-top (OTT) telecommunications services will be carried out according to the law in the direction of light management aimed at protecting users’ rights (OTT services must declare quality and protect data and personal information); and ensuring safety and security (OTT services must provide information to state agencies when requested).

The law also supplements regulations on telecommunications projects built and installed on public property and enhancing the sharing of inter-industry infrastructure. This includes investors of technical infrastructure construction projects having to notify so that telecommunications businesses can register for sharing use; and regulates that investors of apartment buildings, public works, functional areas, and more have responsibility of preparing space for construction and installation of related infrastructure. It also adds responsibilities of people’s committees at all levels and relevant ministries and agencies to deal with acts that hinder legal construction of telecommunications infrastructure.

In regard to the auction of telecommunications numbers warehouses and internet resources, the law specifically regulates types of relevant resources allocated through auction. The choice of auctioned telecommunications codes and numbers will be decided by the market. The law also specifies the starting price for each type of code, telecommunications number, and internet domains name up for auction.

The amended law has regulations on market management and promotion of telecommunications development. It regulates the management of wholesale activities in telecommunications to promote healthy competition in accordance with international practices; adds regulations on management of service provision activities of foreign organisations; and supplements regulations on controlled testing mechanisms for new tech in telecommunications activities.

In terms of administrative reform, the law restructures telecommunications licences to simplify procedures and encourage market entry for some telecommunications services without network infrastructure, while providing strict licensing conditions for services with network infrastructure and using frequency resources.

How will the law facilitate business activities and promote the development of the market?

The law will create better conditions for many businesses, as well as bring new opportunities for them.

Specifically, it will make the market become more competitive with policies such as wholesale and telecommunications infrastructure development. Moreover, the legal environment for data centre and cloud computing service activities will become clearer. Data centre construction is facilitated, procedures are simplified, and market entry is encouraged.

The revised law adds regulations for various services, thus creating opportunities for telecommunications businesses to develop and provide new telecommunications products, meeting the increasing needs of users. In addition, telecommunications infrastructure will be strongly invested in and upgraded; ensure network safety and security; protect personal information and legal rights and interests of users; and will contribute to promoting socioeconomic development and improving lives.

What next steps will the Ministry of Information and Communications take to prepare for the upcoming enforcement of the amended law to ensure its success?

The ministry will implement several plans to prepare for the upcoming enforcement of the revised law. It will continue to research and complete documents guiding the implementation of the law, including three decrees and guiding circulars.

It will also coordinate with relevant agencies and organisations to organise training and dissemination of the law to relevant agencies, organisations, and individuals to raise their awareness and understanding. We will strengthen inspection and examination of the implementation of the law to ensure that it is implemented seriously and in accordance with regulations.

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By Tung Anh

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