S-Fone talks itself up

March 22, 2012 | 09:36
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S-Fone hopes technology changes will help bring performance breakthroughs.

>> S-Fone on brink of disappearing from telecom market

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) had agreed in principle for Saigon Postel (SPT), the operator of struggling S-Fone mobile network, to shift from current CDMA technology into using HSPA (3G) technology, said head of MIC’s Telecom Department Pham Hong Hai.

According to managing director Pham Tien Thinh  at CDMA Mobile Phone Centre S-Telecom or S-Fone, in terms of technology S-Fone’s current 850MHz band possessed multiple advantages since most mobile services technologies from CDMA to WCDMA/HSPA+, LTE could be deployed on the band.
In terms of investment efficiency, S-Fone would need fewer transceiver stations for frequency coverage in particular areas compared to mobile service providers using other frequency bands.

Think said S-Fone would consider applying some models with proven success in regional countries and saving investment costs through sharing current infrastructure with other service providers.

According to leading market research firm IDC figures, in 2011 the demand for mobile terminal equipment hiked 24 per cent in Asia-Pacific against 2010, tantamount to 27 million units being sold. However, that for terminal equipment using CDMA technology shed markedly.

By the end of 2011, the market share for CDMA equipment plugged to just 2.2 per cent while that for GSM (2G) and WCDMA (3G) technology equipment rose to 64.5 and 33.3 per cent, respectively.

IDC also forecast the terminal equipment market in Asia-Pacific will continue to evolve sharply in 2012 and some ensuing years while the market share for equipment using CDMA technology would plummet 40.1 per cent, per year and only account for an estimated 0.1 per cent by 2016. This will make businesses using CDMA technology struggle to source terminal equipment for their clients.

Performance by two other mobile networks also using CDMA technology like S-Fone is another factor to count on.

In 2008, HTMobile (now Vietnamobile) shifted from CDMA into using GSM technology after a year of operation and its subscriber pool now amounts to 12 million.

Capital-strapped EVNTelecom was officially merged into leading military-run telecom group Viettel from early 2012 on the back of poor performance.

By Duc Huy


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