|A scene at Vietnam Television Cable (VTVcab). The company charges its customers low prices for television and internet service packages. — Photo Baomoi.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Five major cable television providers, namely SCTV, VTVcab, VNPT, Viettel, and FPT, are competing to offer multiple services to win more subscribers.
Instead of using separate lines, customers will need only one line to simultaneously use different services, including high-quality television, internet, and telephones.
Saigontourist Cable Television (SCTV), a large television operator, has been providing telecommunication services for nearly two years.
SCTV has provided integrative packages; for example, analogue cable television and internet, digital television and internet, as well as television and internet, and fixed telephone lines.
The more services customers register for, the more preferential rates they will be offered.
VTVcab charges fairly low prices for television and internet service packages.
Both VTVcab and SCTV have applied a free-of-cost policy on equipment such as HD digital receivers, modems, and WiFi routers, as well as complimentary gifts such as milk or helmets.
While SCTV and VTVcab have an upper hand in television content, as they can produce domestic channels, FPT, VNPT, and Viettel have the advantages of transmission line as well as financial potential.
The three telecommunication providers also offer multi-services on a single cable line.
VNPT has made many promotional offers for customers who register for their television service, if they are already using their telephone and internet packages.
VNPT has garnered 900,000 subscriptions within three years.
Ha Van Dung, director of Nghe An cable television, said pay TV market share in Nghe An was dominated by Viettel.
Although Viettel provides "3-in-1" services, it is relying on its strong internet service to bring in revenue instead of exploiting its television service, according to Dung.
Many Nghe An cable television subscribers have shifted to Viettel.
Local cable television companies, which provide only one service, are expected to be taken over by major operators in the next five years.
Luong Quoc Huy, SCTV deputy director, observed that price reduction was the worst business solution.
Television providers should integrate services to bring down prices and provide more services.
According to Huy, more services such as over-the-top television or video-on-demand will be integrated into one cable line in the time to come to attract more subscribers.
Da Nang installs
Starting June, 230,000 households and offices in Da Nang central city have started installing digital signal receiver and cable television networks.
The city is the first region to be covered under the digitalisation project of the government before December 31. At the same time, the programme aims to do away with analogue television in every household.
According to Nguyen Hong Tuan of the directing board of the digitalised television project, 115,000 households subscribe to paid television services such as cable television and Internet television, while the remaining households, especially those in rural and suburb districts, are directly affected by the new policy.
"Viewers will have two options once the digitalisation project comes into effect: those who use old models will have to buy digital signal receivers and antennas to watch all the channels. Subscribers who already have new model TV at their homes will not need a receiver.
This will place poor households at a disadvantage as they cannot afford to buy service packs, which include entertainment channels provided by national televisions or agencies. They will only be able to watch political or promotional channels, so they will really need the state's support to procure signal receivers," Tuan noted.
There are presently two main television production units in the city: Da Nang Radio and Television (DRT) and Da Nang VTV, and seven pre-paid TV providers: VTC, Song Thu cable TV, MyTV, SCTV, as well as AVG, FPT, and K+. — VNS