|Viettel customer-care staff answer questions. Viettel's proposal to provide cable TV services faces stiff opposition from the Viet Nam Pay Television Association. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tu
HA NOI (VNS)— Viettel's proposal to provide cable TV services faces opposition from the Viet Nam Pay Television Association.
The association last month petitioned the government to prevent Viettel from receiving a licence to provide a cable TV service, saying its presence would make the competition too intense.
However, industry insiders said Viettel had the upper hand in cable infrastructure in comparison with current industry players and that its entry into the market was a fait accompli.
Viettel deputy general director Nguyen Manh Hung said the company would save 50-70 per cent of costs required to expand into remote and rural areas.
An industry expert, who asked to remain anonymous, said Viettel already had 200,000km of optical cable which covered 95 per cent of the communes across the country. It also had 25,000 technical staff – a number that overwhelmed its competitors.
"With these advantages, Viettel would only need a few years to build its cable TV network, other companies would need at least 10 years," the expert said.
According to Viettel's application, up to 16.5 million households nationwide were not connected to cable TV, but would use the service.
Viettel plans to have 5 million subscribers in the first five years, 35 per cent in urban areas and 65 per cent rural.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said Viet Nam Television (VTV), with its diverse VTV channels, held 65 per cent of pay TV market share, of which SCTV had 32 per cent, VCTV 19 per cent and HTVC 14 per cent.
VTV has 3 million subscribers out of 4.5 million pay TV subscribers in the country. Of these, VCTV has 1.2 million, SCTV 1.5 million and K+VTV in joint venture with France's Canal Plus 400,000 satellite TV subscribers.
This means VTV controls 70 per cent of the pay TV market share in Viet Nam. — VNS