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Ministry pulls plug on mobile firm

Update: December, 11/2012 - 10:54


Dong Duong Telecom has its licence to provide mobile virtual network service revoked due to sluggish implementation of services. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Information and Communications yesterday revoked Dong Duong Telecom's licence to provide mobile virtual network service due to its sluggish implementation of services.

A mobile virtual network is a wireless communications service that does not own the radio spectrum of the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. Instead, it leases bulk access from an existing network operator at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently.

The latest move follows a letter of ultimatum in October the ministry sent to three companies licensed up to four years ago to provide mobile virtual network services, urging them to commence operations as soon as possible.

The letter also instructed the companies to provide a timeframe for when they expected to begin operations.

Under the Law on Telecommunications, a company that receives a licence to provide services must begin within two years or face licence revocation.

Dong Duong Telecom, licensed in 2009, was the first company authorised to provide this service. It was followed by the Viet Nam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) and FPT.

Dong Duong Telecom had previously said it would team up with military-run mobile service provider Viettel to provide the service, while VTC has said it would collaborate with EVN Telecom. Neither, however, has shown any signs of making their projects a reality.

Nguyen Hoang Phong, director of VTC Digicom, a telecom affiliate of VTC, admitted that the domination of the "big three" mobile network operators had reduced the attractiveness of the once-booming trade.

Viettel, Vinaphone and MobiFone currently had a combined market share of 95 per cent. — VNS

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