Telecom Market to Open in 2012

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Jun. 17 – Vietnam has announced it would fully open its telecom market to overseas investment following international practices and its obligation under the World Trade Organization by 2012.

The draft bill for the new telecom law is expected to be submitted by this month. Local telecom companies have until 2012 to maintain 51 percent ownership with foreign partners.

The mostly state-owned companies have developed faster through the presence of foreign companies like SK Telecom, Hutchison and Vimpelcom.

Improvements made on the country’s telecom infrastructure has also attracted bidding from top companies like IBM, Cisco, AT-T, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola as well as Chinese equipment suppliers like  Huawei and ZTE.

The Vietnamese telecom market is huge with a lot of room for growth. Currently, it has 89.5 million mobile subscribers with a ratio of 105 phones per 100 people.

Last year, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) posted the highest earnings at VND45.29 trillion followed by Viettel with VND33 trillion then EVN Telecom with VND3.7 trillion.

It was only this year, that the government allowed 3G technology to be offered by four telcos. These include Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone and a joint venture of EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom.