HCMC – The Ministry of Information and Communications has suggested regulating over-the-top (OTT) services as they actually operate as telecom firms.
OTT apps such as Zalo, Viber and Telegram allow users to send text messages, pictures and video and make calls through internet protocol networks. This means they operate as telecom businesses.
As OTT activities are not covered by the current regulations, consumer rights may be at stake.
According to the ministry, which has drafted amendments to the Law on Telecommunications, a domestic company needs to obtain a license for offering paid OTT services, and a cross-border business seeking to do so must have a commercial agreement with an authorized local firm.
As for free OTT applications, domestic providers will be required to register with the appropriate agency, whereas international ones need to form a business agreement or open an office in Vietnam for operation.
The measure is expected to safeguard user interests and push for fair, equal competition between domestic and international providers.