Vietnam’s pay television market could face fierce competition with the proposed entrance of newcomers.
In 2012, giant telcos, including leading state group VNPT, FPT Telecom, An Vien (AVG) Television and military-run Viettel, sent applications to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) expressing desire to step into the pay TV service market.
Allowing businesses to offer the service both creates a bona fide market competition and makes the most of their telecom infrastructure, according to FPT chairman and chief executive officer Truong Gia Binh.
Viettel’s deputy general director Nguyen Manh Hung assumed upgrading cable infrastructure to communes for supply of cable television would help cut down investment costs by several times while extending the service to remote areas.
Pay TV has to share market slices with the interactive television segment (IPTV) which has grown the fastest within the pay TV system with around one million subscribers after three years in operation.
Currently there are four IPTV service providers: FPT Telecom, media firm VTC, VNPT and Viettel.
“IPTV promises enormous development potential and will dominate pay TV market in Vietnam,” said FPT Telecom general director Nguyen Van Khoa.
To meet the competition, service providers have rolled out a series of new services, such as FPT Telecom focusing on promoting FPT Play HD, VASC Software and Media Company giving birth to MyTVNet with the introduction of fresh interactive services Video Call, TV Voting, TV Messages and TV Friend.
During a decade in Vietnam, pay TV has exposed several limitations seen in its patchy development, use of backward technology, its focus on urban areas and loosened management of price and service quality.
The MIC has penned and submitted to the prime minister for enactment of synchronous planning on television sector development, including that of pay TV service market targeting high service quality, cutting-edge technology and sustainable development, according to Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications.
Accordingly, existing pay TV system shall be streamlined to avert patchy development and cultivate a healthy pay TV and radio broadcasting market which will operate under market rules with stable development, striving for conversion into entirely digital television and radio broadcasting by 2020. The programme content shall be richly imbued with distinctive cultural identities featuring increasingly service quality and competitive costs.