HA NOI — The Ministry of Information and Communications may issue millions of new 10-digit mobile-phone numbers because Vietnamese people do not like the new 11-digit numbers.
|Customers buys mobile phones in Ha Noi. Subscribers still favour 10-digit phone numbers than the 11-digit ones. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
The ministry's Telecommunications Department is now drafting a circular on the possibility of issuing two bands, zero and one, after the existing digits.
This would give it more space to add many new numbers without adding an extra digit to 10-digit numbers.
The move would add 20 million new numbers to the mobile network system.
Many Vietnamese with 10-digit numbers stay with their network providers much longer than those with 11-digit numbers.
Nghiem Phu Hoan, deputy director of the Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), said many subscribers used 11-digit numbers to take advantage of special cut-rate offers by service providers.
They then threw away their SIM card because it was even cheaper to wait for the next offer and then buy a new SIM card.
In fact, customers are eager to pay more for a 10 digit number. For example, Viettel can sell a SIM with 10 digits for VND130,000-150,000 (US$6-7) while their 11-digit SIM cards are sold for about VND50,000 ($2.20).
The three giant mobile networks in Viet Nam, VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel, are running out of 10-digit numbers while smaller network are believed to still have many.
The draft circular will be inspected by subscribers and mobile networks before being released. — VNS