|Despite the country's three biggest mobile operators hiking their 3G (third generation network) usage price, the fourth largest firm Vietnamobile has said it will not follow the trend.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Despite the country's three biggest mobile operators hiking their 3G (third generation network) usage price, the fourth largest firm Vietnamobile has said it will not follow the trend.
A company representative said Vietnamobile's subscribers could rest assured when using the 3G service, as the carrier currently did not have any plans to raise 3G connection costs.
"We want to help our subscribers to save their money, especially in this period of economic downturn. Vietnamobile is now the cheapest 3G provider in the country," he added.
The company will keep its current 3G lump-sum price of VND40,000 for 30 days of use, while providing free high-speed download capacity of up to 1.5GB.
Meanwhile, Vinaphone, MobiFone and Viettel, the big three firms with a combined market share of nearly 90 per cent, on Wednesday hiked 3G prices by 20 per cent, saying it would help them reinvest in their mobile networks.
The adjusted 3G price, which also applies to MIU of MobiFone, MiMax of Viettel and MAX of VinaPhone, will be adjust to VND70,000 per month (US$3.33) a 40 per cent rise on the present price of VND50,000 ($2.38).
The packaged 3G price for students at telecom companies will also be raised to VND50,000 from VND30,000 ($1.42).
Hanoi Telecom, Vietnamobile's operator, last week said it needed more telecommunication bandwidth to expand its 3G coverage.
Hanoi Telecom's Chairman Pham Ngoc Lang said the lack of bandwidth at the 2x15MHz range made it difficult for the company to expand its 3G network and attract new subscribers.
Lang said the lack of bandwidth would require the company to build more 3G Base Transmission Stations (BTSs) to compensate for the bandwidth inefficiency.
"This means we have to spend more money developing the 3G network and it will reduce our competency in this emerging and competitive market," he added.
The government recently asked the Ministry of Information and Communications to provide Hanoi Telecom with at least 10MHz more of bandwidth to help the fourth largest mobile network develop its 3G service.
Vietnamobile, a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications International, had a market share of 8 per cent in 2012.
Its main competitors are Viettel with a market share of 40.67 per cent, Vinaphone with 30 per cent and MobiFone with 17.9 per cent. Smaller competitors include Gmobile and S-Fone.
New mobile subscriptions in Viet Nam have skyrocketed in recent years, rising from 19 million in 2006 to 134 million by the end of August 2013. — VNS