Vietnam to Pass New Telecom Law

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Aug. 26 – The government will soon pass the country’s first telecom law that will allow telecom operators to buy or re-sell licenses to other companies.

According to the current draft of the telecommunications law, each license purchase must be approved by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to ensure competition among operators and allow foreign investors to easily enter the market.

The license buyer must take all rights and duties of the seller. “Current regulations ban telecom license purchasing, while almost nations in the world allow this to happen”, said an MIC source.

“The government will also define clear policies on services based on telecom resources such as frequencies and telephone numbers in order to grant licences to operators through a beauty contest, performance bond, auction or tender in order to take full advantage of frequencies limitations,” added the official.

Another draft of the new law will be submitted by the MIC to the National Assembly by the end of the year.

The country wants to have an open telecom market by 2009 and adopt international procedures for granting frequencies, telephone numbers, domain name and internet address licenses. Other changes include revising the ratio of state ownership stakes in telecom companies; with the state will only having majority stakes in companies connected to national security and television services.