HA NOI – Viet Nam has 12.8 million 3G internet subscribers, accounting for 15 per cent of the population, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The figure represents an increase of 150 per cent over July 2011, when the number of 3G internet subscribers reached 8 million.
The ministry attributed the growth to the increasing number of 3G BTSs (base transmission stations) installed nationwide, which reached 33,700 with service coverage over 91.5 per cent of the country.
There are already more BTSs than the number forecast by mobile carriers when they bid to provide 3G services in Viet Nam three years ago.
Over the past year, mobile carriers began offering a series of mass discounts for 3G data that triggered the sharp rise in subscriptions, the ministry said.
According to a recent survey carried out by the Post and Telecom newspaper and market researcher Nielsen, about 52 per cent of 3G subscribers use the service on their laptops, while 48 per cent use smartphones.
First launched in Japan in 2001, the high-speed 3G networks have changed the way consumers use mobile devices, extending them beyond calls and simple text messages to mobile video viewing, internet browsing and other data-intensive functions.
Vinaphone, a member of State-owned telecom giant VNPT (Viet Nam Post and Telecommunication Group), was the first mobile carrier in Viet Nam to provide 3G service in 2009.
The country has 30.8 million internet users and seven mobile carriers, four of which provide 3G service: Vinaphone, MobiFone, Viettel and Vietnamobile. – VNS