|Customers shop for mobile phones in Ha Noi. The Ministry of Information and Communications has announced that mobile phone users will be able to change network providers without swapping their mobile numbers, but not yet ... from January 1, 2017. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Information and Communications has announced that mobile phone users will now be able to change network providers without swapping their mobile numbers from January 1, 2017.
The ministry previously planned to apply the project in mid-2014 but said it would need more time to prepare comprehensive policies to allow the new method to run smoothly.
According to deputy head of the ministry's telecommunications department Le Thi Ngoc Mo, despite mobile carriers agreeing in principle to apply the method, most of them were not willing to do it on schedule.
If applied, all mobile phone numbers will be centrally managed by MIC's telecommunications department, instead of being partially managed by each network provider. This is a policy already applied in as many as 70 countries worldwide.
The new policy would give subscribers greater choice in selecting their network providers, while creating fairer competition between telecommunications companies.
In addition, it would allow telecoms authorities to measure the development of the mobile market, especially in terms of e-commerce.
Mobile phone subscriptions in Viet Nam have skyrocketed in recent years, rising from 19 million in 2006, to 25 million in 2007, 74 million in 2008, 98 million in 2009 and most recently, 120 million in 2012. — VNS