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Viettel officially launches 3G network
By Hien Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Mar 26, 2010,12:02 (GMT+7)

Viettel officially launches 3G network

By Hien Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Military-run telecom company Viettel on Thursday launched its third generation (3G) network after piloting the service for six months. The telco is Vietnam’s third 3G provider, following VinaPhone and MobiFone.

Tran Minh Huy, director of Viettel’s HCMC branch, told the Daily on Thursday that Viettel officially launched 3G service after successful pilot programs in 20 provinces.

“The pilot ran smoothly, making us confident to launch the service today,” he said.

Vị trí đặt quảng cáoViettel will offer various services like video call, mobile broadband 3G, TV mobile, video-on-demand, online music and clip services, all reasonably priced.

Currently, Viettel has 8,000 base transceiver stations and plans to build 20,000 stations by the end of this year. To date, Viettel has one million 3G subscribers and plans to lure at least five million subscribers this year.
Huy added that 3G’s launch would be beneficial to telco providers and customers alike.

More than 40 million customers subscribe to Viettel’s 2G technology. The company’s total revenue reached VND60 trillion last year, an 80% increase compared to 2008.

Recently, MobiFone and VinaPhone, under the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group, said they had lured 14 million 3G subscribers. However, industry observers doubt the figure and said the market would not grow that rapidly.

UK-based market researcher Business Monitor Intelligence (BMI) said recently in its Vietnam telecom report that early this year Vietnam had more than 100,000 3G-service subscribers. The small quantity is due to MobiFone and VinaPhone launching their 3G service so late in 2009.

According to the researcher, the cost and availability of 3G compatible handsets will hinder 3G growth early on. BMI predicts Vietnam will have about 4.5 million 3G customers at the end of 2013.

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