Only three days remain until the beginning of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, which allows local subscribers to switch to other mobile operators and retain their original phone number. Thus, the battle for mobile customers will gain a new edge.
|From November 16, local subcribers will be able to switch to other mobile operators while retaining their phone numbers. Source: nguoilambao.vn |
This week, three domestic telecommunication giants – Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone – will officially launch the MNP service, which enables users to change suppliers without losing their phone number.
In the first three months, the service will only be available for postpaid mobile subscribers during this period, the carriers will be able to test the service and fix any inadequacies on time.
After that, the service will be ready to be applied for prepaid users, noting that those with unpaid bills will not be allowed to change networks and each switch will be carried out with a service charge of VND120,000 ($5.2).
Gtel will not implement this service and Hong Kong-invested Vietnamobile will be ready by January 1, 2019.
Vice Minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai stated during the working session between the Telecommunications Department and the telecommunications enterprises on August 23 that it is imperative that the MNP be conducted, since the country lags behind others.
“This is a compulsory policy to shake up the telecom battlefield, boosting the enhancement of the carriers’ competitiveness and ensuring users’ benefits,” he emphasised.
According to economic expert Vu Dinh Anh, MNP will create direct competition among network suppliers.
“Competition between mobiles operators is getting intense. However, the race in prices and quality is overshadowed by providing convenient, diverse services,” An added.
It is estimated that around 10 per cent (10-13 million mobile users) will go for MNP, which is expected to make a great change in the market share of carriers, where the three giants currently hold 90 per cent.
In order not to confuse customers, the Ministry will issue more detailed instructions on the MNP protocol and service charge and networks suppliers have been preparing comprehensive plans and infrastructure.
The MNP service was first implemented in the late 1990s and is now available in more than 90 countries and territories around the world. Vietnam has scheduled the launch of the service in late 2017. However, it was delayed for almost 11 months due to the Ministry of Information and Communications’ decision to shift from 11 to 10-digit phone numbers for more than 60 million subscribers across the country, which began two months ago and is in progress, aiming to create favourable conditions to approach high-quality telecommunications services like 5G, as well as to take the first step towards MNP.
By Thanh Mai