Virtual operators still a mystery

April 07, 2012 | 15:50
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Local mobile virtual network operators are struggling to come into reality.

For example, Dong Duong Telecom was licenced to operate as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in August 2009, however, it is yet to deliver the service.

A Dong Duong telecom representative told VIR the firm was doing its utmost to roll out services soon.

“Dong Duong Telecom will use 0999 and 0998 as first numerals and share 3G wireless network with Viettel to provide basic and added value telecom services,” according to its website.

Besides, the company aims to record 200,000 subscribers in its first year and 1.5 million subscribers after seven years.

But, the firm cannot reach an agreement on sharing network infrastructure with Viettel.

In light of the Telecom Law, firms will have their licences taken back if they cannot provide proposed services two years after licencing.

Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) Telecom Department head Pham Hong Hai said the firm had recently worked with the MIC regarding the licence issue.

Another registered MVNO VTC also faces its license revoked if it fails to offer services before June 2012.

VTC got the licence in June 2010. Shortly after that VTC reached an agreement with Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) about sharing EVNTelecom’s network.

However, VTC was unlucky when poorly-performed EVNTelecom was merged into Viettel from early 2012, meaning that the agreement between VTC and EVNTelecom needs to be green-lighted by Viettel.

“Reaching win-win contracts with mobile network operators with core infrastructure is crucial to success with mobile virtual networks. However, it is not easy in current context since current fee levels in Vietnam are fairly low,” said an expert from France Telecom in Vietnam.

Frost & Sullivan’s telecom sector research director Marc Einstein assumed it would be hard for Dong Duong Telecom or VTC to reap success in the home market which now accommodates scores of players.

By Duc Huy

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