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Mobile operators face falling revenues

Update: June, 19/2012 - 12:15



Clients register for Viettel mobile services in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI — Mobile operators are bemoaning poor revenues drawn from value added services (VAS) promoted at the EURO 2012 due to small subscriber numbers.

While MobiFone offers free mobile data access from 11 pm to 6 am daily, Viettel provides a mobile social football network called "Zozo" and Vinaphone the Vinasport portal, providing users with match updates via texts, video clips and radio at a weekly charge of only VND5,000.

Fledgling Vietnamobile is pushing its "Frenzy EURO" programme, offering a Q&A session with a bonus of up to VND200 million (US$9,700).

However, most companies have complained about low earnings associated with these services, especially compared to previous football championships, including the World Cup.

Vo Thanh Hai, director of Viettel's Content Provision Centre, the country's largest mobile provider, said currently only some 10,000-15,000 messages predicting match results are sent out on a daily basis, much lower than targeted in terms of company subscriber numbers reaching over 30 million.

"Demand for such programmes might be saturated due to the rising number of providers," he added.

Vinaphone agreed, saying revenues made from VASs during the EURO 2012 were negligible.

Company head of business Pham Ngoc Tu said despite some text news and clips of amazing goals having seen a slight up in popularity, results have been much lower than during pervious EURO and World Cup tournaments.

"The match result prediction service, once a hot contender, has experienced desolate demand this year," he added.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Lan Phuong, a telecom market analyst from the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, attributed poor revenues to the ongoing economic downturn.

"When your pockets are thin, you hesitate to spend money, even small amounts," she told Viet Nam News.

The development of new mobile subscriptions in Viet Nam skyrocketed in recent years with 19 million in 2006, 25 million in 2007, 74 million in 2008, 98 million in 2009 and over 120 million in 2012, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Information and Communications. — VNS

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