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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Vietnam launches second mobile virtual network operator

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HANOI – A second mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) called Reddi was introduced to the local market on June 3 by operator Mobicast, with the 055 prefix.

The network will use the mobile phone infrastructure of the State-owned Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to offer services to its customers.

An MVNO owns no network infrastructure but hires or purchases telecommunications services from traditional mobile network operators and resells network services at lower prices.

To date, there are five traditional mobile network carriers in the country, namely Viettel, MobiFone, VNPT, Vietnamobile and Gtel. As the latest addition to the local mobile network market, Reddi stressed that it would target young and modern customers and offer them telecom and digital services through mobile apps.

Reddi will not offer services at competitive prices but will focus on the customer experience. The operator Mobicast noted that it would coordinate with digital service providers to offer Reddi customers new and personalized technology services.

One year ago, the country’s first mobile virtual network called ITelecom was introduced with the numeral prefix 087. At the launch ceremony, its operator Dong Duong Telecom Company said ITelecom would tap the niche market and provide mobile network services to workers in industrial zones. However, ITelecom has not released its business performance results since the launch.

Data from the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications revealed that there are some 126 million mobile subscriptions in Vietnam but the average revenue earned from each subscription remains low at some VND100,000 per month. Accordingly, experts in the field said the current fierce competitive market does not leave much room for mobile virtual networks to grow.

Le Dang Dung, chairman of military-run telecom carrier Viettel, told the Saigon Times that MVNOs see success only in European countries where the average revenue generated from each mobile subscription is high. In Vietnam, MVNOs will struggle to compete with existing traditional mobile network operators since the average expenditures on mobile services in Vietnam are already low at VND70,000-VND90,000 per month.

Moreover, MVNOs can only survive when traditional mobile network carriers have yet to own widespread sales channels. In reality, local telecom carriers have established their business operations nationwide with a large number of both offline and online stores, he added.

By Van Ly

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