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3G rate hike to improve networks

Update: October, 18/2013 - 08:45
A Vinaphone worker provides instructions to a customer on the 3G service. Recent 3G fee increases will be used to reinvest in mobile networks for quality enhancement. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

HA NOI (VNS)— Telecom providers increased 3G fees in order to reinvest in their mobile networks, said VinaPhone deputy director Ho Duc Thang at an online discussion organised by Infonet online newspaper yesterday.

Customers deserved the best service for their money, Thang said, so VinaPhone was building better 3G services with the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

However, he warned that customers should not expect service quality to improve immediately.

"We have to build the network according to a detailed plan so we are not able to finish it immediately," he said. "While the network is in adjustment, the service quality may not be good."

After MIC approved the three giant telecom providers' proposal to increase the 3G fee, they all raised the monthly full-package fee to VND70,000 (US$3.3) for 600GB. Many wondered if they had colluded, although representatives of the providers denied this.

Tran Anh Son, deputy director general of the Competition Administration Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the department had asked the telecom enterprises to provide relevant information.

"We will collect information and find out more details. After that, we can give our opinion on whether their simultaneous fee increase violates the law on competition," he said.

Nguyen Viet Dung, head of Viettel Group's business department, admitted that the company had received complaints from customers but said that 3G signal quality was a "top priority" for Viettel.

"After being allowed to provide 3G services, the corporation invested in more infrastructure than any other, with 26,000 emission stations. We will continue to add more stations," he said.

Nguyen Duc Trung, deputy general director of the Authority of Telecommunications under MIC, said that the fee increase was unavoidable.

Most telecom equipment in Viet Nam was imported and expensive, yet the service fee was only 39.6 per cent of fees in other ASEAN countries, he said.

"The telecom providers need to adjust the fee. If there is not any change in the market, the companies will continue increasing the fee in the future, as they registered with MIC to ensure the fee is not lower than the cost," Trung said. — VNS


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