March, 08 2014 08:36:58

MobiFone to recall 200,000 idle SIM cards

SIM cards of Mobifone, Viettel and Vinaphone are displayed for sale at a shop in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Thai Ha

HA NOI  (VNS) — Viet Nam's oldest mobile network operator, MobiFone, will recall nearly 200,000 SIM cards that were issued and allocated to dealers, but were  not activated for the past two years.

MobiFone noted that the recalled cards will also include SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards that have been activated, but have not generated any outgoing calls and messages.

MobiFone is a subsidiary of the State-run Viet Nam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT).

The move, which is part of MobiFone's effort to palliate a numbers crunch, follows a master plan issued by the Ministry of Information and Communication to make the competitive mobile phone market healthier.

MobiFone claimed that the recall announcement has already been forwarded to its nationwide dealer network.

Last year, Vinaphone, another VNPT's mobile arm, had also recalled 100,000 SIM cards for the same reason.

According to VNPT, of its 75.5 million nationwide mobile phone subscribers, only 46 million generate outgoing calls and messages.

Furthermore, services to as many as 5.5 million subscribers have been locked by service providers due to unpaid telecom bills.

All these SIM cards will also be recalled later.

New mobile subscriptions in Viet Nam have skyrocketed in recent years, reaching 19 million in 2006, 25 million in 2007, 74 million in 2008, 98 million in 2009, and 134 million by the end of 2013.

The country currently has five mobile network operators: Vinaphone, MobiFone, Viettel, Vietnamobile, and Gtel. — VNS

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