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Vietnam - Mobile Communications, Mobile Operators, and Forecasts

Vietnam - Mobile Communications, Mobile Operators, and Forecasts

Vietnam's mobile market has grown strongly over the last decade, evidence that the competition model the government has put in place, although with some limitations, has been working. However, after mobile penetration had moved rapidly upwards the market started to stall and suffered a correction in 2013. Apart from the statistical adjustment carried out by the MIC, demand appeared to have dropped and growth had generally slowed. The competitive nature of the mobile segment is due in no small part to it being opened up to new players, importantly including some with no involvement of the state-owned VNPT. With the operators very keen to remain competitive and at least maintain market share, the overcrowded market will inevitably rationalise; that process has begun with the takeover of EVN Telecom by Viettel. As with most other Asian mobile markets, growth in Vietnam was boosted by the early introduction of prepaid mobile services and prepaid remains a vital component of the business today. The view of the market is confused by the reporting of inconsistent subscriber figures; as already noted, the government adjusts previously issued figures. The conflicting numbers have made it difficult to obtain a considered view of the market.

In this report we provide an overview of the country's mobile market and the major mobile players; the report also includes scenario forecasts for mobile subscriber growth to 2015 and 2020.

Key developments:

a downturn in demand hit Vietnam's mobile market;
Viettel successfully took control of EVN Telecom in 2012;
the 3G network rollout had moved quickly, but with lower subscriber growth than expected;
the regulator had authorised operators to launch trial 4G/LTE networks but has made no commitment to licensing yet;
plans to merge the state-owned mobile operators, Mobifone and Vinaphone, were abandoned;
the new plan was to privatise MobiFone, with a IPO in 2015;
the MIC fined mobile operators for not correctly managing the registration of subscribers;
the MIC revoked the licences of service providers for failure to roll out networks in time;
Viettel continued to expand its overseas ventures.

Companies covered in this report include:

VNPT; Vinaphone; Mobifone; Viettel; S-Fone; EVN Telecom (acquired by Viettel); Vietnamobile (Hanoi Telecom); Gmobile (formerly Beeline).


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile communications
2.1 Vietnam's mobile market
2.1.1 Overview
2.1.2 Background
2.1.3 Mobile statistics
2.1.4 Forecasts mobile services 2015; 2020
2.1.5 Tariffs and revenue
2.1.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
2.2 Market restructuring
2.2.1 Market restructuring: the concept of equitisation'
2.2.2 Market restructuring: proposed merging of Mobifone and Vinaphone
2.2.3 Market restructuring: the privatisation of MobiFone
2.3 Mobile market developments
2.3.1 m-Commerce
2.3.2 Mobile handset market 2011 / 2012
2.3.3 SIM card fee
2.3.4 SIM registration
2.3.5 Controls on SIM cards
2.3.6 Viettel's takeover of EVN Telecom
2.3.7 Handset manufacture
2.4 Regulatory issues
2.4.1 Off-net pricing
2.4.2 Spectrum
2.4.3 Allegations of price-fixing
2.4.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
2.4.5 Sales promotion regulation
2.4.6 Prepaid subscriber registration
2.4.7 Handset importation
2.5 Mobile technologies
2.5.1 GSM and CDMA
2.5.2 Third Generation (3G) services
2.5.3 4G / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
2.6 Mobile voice services
2.6.1 Prepaid
2.6.2 Registration of prepaid services
2.7 Mobile data services
2.7.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
2.7.2 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
2.7.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
2.7.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
2.7.5 International remittances
2.8 Mobile applications
3. Major mobile operators
3.1 VNPT
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 Restructure proposals
3.2 Mobifone
3.2.1 Overview
3.2.2 Corporate structure
3.2.3 Network development
3.3 Vinaphone
3.3.1 Overview
3.3.2 Corporate structure
3.3.3 Network development
3.4 S-Fone (S-Telecom)
3.4.1 S-Fone statistics
3.5 Viettel
3.5.1 Overview
3.5.2 Network development
3.5.3 Overseas ventures
3.6 EVN Telecom
3.6.1 Overview
3.6.2 Development of 3G
3.6.3 Fixed wireless service
3.6.4 Internet services
3.6.5 Acquisition by Viettel
3.7 Vietnamobile (formerly Hutchison Vietnam/HT Mobile)
3.8 Gmobile (formerly Beeline)
4. Notes on scenario forecasts
5. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile subscribers 1995 - 2014
Table 3 Mobile operators networks and total subscribers 2013
Table 4 Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2013
Table 4 Major mobile operators market share by subscribers May 2014
Table 5 Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rates 2015; 2020
Table 6 Mobile services revenue 1993 - 2013
Table 7 Mobile services sector estimated ARPU 1998 - 2013
Table 8 3G mobile subscribers by operator 2012 - 2013
Table 10 VNPT subscribers 1998 2013
Table 11 Mobifone subscribers 1998 - 2013
Table 12 MobiFone: 3G subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 13 Vinaphone subscribers 1998 - 2014
Table 14 VinaPhone: 3G subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 15 Historical - S-Fone subscribers 2003 - 2013
Table 16 Viettel subscribers 2004 - 2013
Table 17 Viettel Vietnam: 3G subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 18 Historical - EVN Telecom subscribers 2006 - 2012
Table 19 HT Mobile (CDMA) subscribers 2006 - 2009
Table 20 Vietnamobile (GSM) subscribers 2009 - 2013
Table 21 Hutchison Vietnam 3G subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 22 Gmobile (Beeline) subscribers 2009 - 2013
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and annual change 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Mobile market share by operator 2013
Chart 3 Mobile services revenue 2000 - 2013
Chart 4 VNPT subscribers 2000 - 2013

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