Viet Nam News
HCM City – Viettel Group’s is likely to achieve its ex-Việt Nam revenue target of US$1.5 billion this year, thanks to a sudden spurt in sales in some of its new markets.
Laos and Cambodia are considered the two best and steadiest international markets for Viettel.
Unitel, Viettel’s Lao company, has achieved cumulative revenues of $1 billion in seven years since it entered the market and profits of $300 million. It has 2.5 million subscribers, and a 47 per cent market share in mobile subscriptions and 35 per cent in broadband.
With 4,000 base transceiver stations and 23,000km of fibre-optic cable, Unitel has covered every district in Laos and 95 per cent of the population.
Since June 2015 Unitel has been providing 4G services.
According to the London-based Brand Finance, an independent intangible asset valuation consultancy, in 2016 Unitel is the most effective telecommunications brand name in ASEAN.
Its brand value grew by 106 per cent from 2015 to $132 million, and is the top telecom brand in Laos and among the top 30 in the region.
Brand Finance also announced that the value of Viettel’s brand in Cambodia, Metfone, increased from $85 million in 2015 to $94 million this year.
After starting operations in 2006 and officially launching in 2009, Metfone has now become the leading operator in Cambodia with infrastructure that includes 7,000 base transceiver stations and 20,000km of fibre-optic cable. It has achieved 97 per cent coverage of the population with 5.5 million subscribers, representing a 37 per cent market share.
By 2013 Metfone had already depreciated its investment of VNĐ45 trillion ($2 billion).
Last year its turnover was $256 million. Viettel is planning to sell stakes in Metfone.
Growth in new young market
Last year Viettel Group began operations in three African major markets -- Cameroon, Burundi and Tanzania – and expects to break even in three to five years.
This year these markets have grown despite many challenges like natural disasters and foreign exchange volatility.
Yet they have achieved strong growth in terms of both revenues and subscriber numbers, with the latter rising by 21 per cent.
The two newest markets, Burundi and Tanzania, have contributed significantly with their turnover in the second quarter increasing by 19 per cent (to nearly 31 billion Burundi franc) and 40 per cent (over 26 million Tanzanian shillings) quarter-on-quarter.
With a population of 50 million, Tanzania, the most populous overseas market Viettel has invested in, has seen strong growth in terms of mobile subscriber numbers.
Halotel, Viettel’s local company, covers 95 per cent of the country. Subscriber numbers reached 1 million within three months of launch and 2 million within nine months.
Cameroon was Viettel’s second African market. Nexttel, Viettel’s brand in Cameroon, began operations in September 2014 and now has over 2.5 million subscribers and revenues that grew by 54 per cent last year to $35.24 million. It received the country’s award for Best Internet Service Provider.
The three African markets are expected to grow rapidly in the near future and Viettel plans to improve the quality of 3G services and expand 4G services in its international markets to meet the increasing needs of customers.
Viettel’s business in another African market, Mozambique, is steady, with 5.6 million subscribers and revenues of $33 million in the first half representing an 8 per cent increase year-on-year.
In Peru, whose GDP is much higher than Việt Nam’s and mobile density is above the saturation level of 110 per cent, Bitel has achieved a breakthrough. Its first-half turnover this year was $60 million, an increase of 105 per cent compared to the same period year.
The number of subscribers increased by 41 per cent six months after it began operations, and average growth has been around 18 per cent every quarter. Its subscriber numbers grew by five times the industry average.
Its turnover from 3G services in the first six months was 4.5 times the figure in the same period of 2015.
Bitel plans to provide 4G services from the end of this year when it will have three million subscribers.
In March this year Viettel began operations in Myanmar, the most populous foreign market Viettel has ever invested in.
Market growth has been high and demand for using data is increasing, with 60 per cent of people owning smartphones.
Last year Viettel Global’s turnover was $1.4 billion and pre-tax profit, $58 million. It had 16.5 million subscribers at the end of the year.
This year first-half revenues were $493.8 million, a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent. The period marked a return to growth for the African market and growth in the Americas.
As of September 2016 Viettel had 90 million subscribers in Việt Nam and 26 million others in its nine international markets of Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Cameroon, Haiti, Mozambique, Burundi, Peru, and Tanzania.
GSMA Intelligence recently ranked Viettel Group 29th out of a total of 461 telecom companies around the world in terms of number of mobile subscriptions.VNS