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Local telcos have raced for increased subscribers with the current mobile subscriber number having surpassed 140 million. However, it seems that the era for width expansion has halted when only 12 million new subscribers registered in 2012.
Telcos have reportedly shifted into tapping value added non-voice services to boost revenue.
Deputy general director of leading state telecom group VNPT To Manh Cuong noted since growth in new subscribers has slowed, this year VNPT would focus on developing non-voice services and information technology applications to optimise revenue.
VinaPhone director Lam Hoang Vinh said the revenue from non-voice services of VinaPhone spiked in 2012, accounting for more than 52 per cent of its total fee-based revenue. VinaPhone is a VNPT member.
VinaPhone currently offers over 80 telecom value added services of which 3G services witnessed 60 per cent hike in revenue in 2012 on-year with over seven million 3G subscribers.
In 2011, VinaPhone raked in VND28 trillion ($1.3 billion) in total revenue. Of this, the revenue from non-voice services made up 40 per cent of VinaPhone’s fee-based revenue, tantamount to VND11.2 trillion ($506 million).
In 2012, the telco reported VND25.579 trillion ($1.2 billion) revenue with VND12.3 trillion ($585 million) coming from non-voice services, surging 12 per cent against 2011.
Earlier, non-voice services just accounted for 15 per cent of VinaPhone’s total revenue in 2009, increasing to 20 per cent in 2010.
That was why VinaPhone executives said in 2013 they would scale up efforts for deployment of wide-ranging fresh non-voice services on 3G background in favour of the customers.
For MobiFone, another VNPT member, the revenue from non-voice services made up 18 per cent of its total revenue in 2008, rising to 25 per cent in 2010 and exceeding 40 per cent in 2011.
At present, MobiFone offers around 60 value added services on 2G and 3G background. In 2012, the telco rolled out of series of new services like MobiClip, EasyMail, weather information, service portal ZOOM360.
MobiFone’s Value Added Services Centre deputy director Nguyen Mau Khe said the telco had opened more than 20 value added services consulting points in 2012 and was making efforts for model replication countrywide.
For its part, leading military-run telco Viettel established Vas-Viettel Centre in 2006 to trade in value added services. By the end of 2012, Viettel reportedly offered over 40 value added services, reaping around VND10 trillion ($480 million) revenue from non-voice services.
Viettel Telecom director Hoang Son affirmed developing value added services was a Viettel priority in the upcoming period.
“There is still much room for service providers in this field. Subscriber revenue would surge noticeably with suitable pricing scheme,” said Son.