|A customer registers services at a MobiFone transaction counter. MobiFone will have two million new numbers in user base. — Photo vnexpress.net
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Information and Communications has approved the addition of digit ‘1' to the ‘090' and ‘093' prefixes in mobile phone numbers operated by the MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation.
The approval, granted on January 9, means the Mobifone network will now have an additional two million 10-digit numbers with the ‘0901' and ‘0931' prefixes serving the domestic market.
While mobile phone number prefixes have been diversified in Viet Nam, mobile network operators see ‘090', ‘091' and ‘098' as popular ranges that are also considered strong brands. Following the Ministry's approval, the company can now expand its subscriber base.
The Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) had requested the Ministry last year to grant additional ‘0' and ‘1' digits for numbers serviced by the Vinaphone and MobiFone networks.
If all petitions are approved, the two networks will have an additional eight million 10-digit numbers to sell, as Vinaphone subscribers will now have access to new prefixes of ‘0911', ‘0910', ‘0940' and ‘0941', while MobiFone will have additional prefixes including ‘0900', ‘0901', ‘0930' and ‘0931'.
Viettel had also made a similar proposal to the ministry in 2014, and if approved, the firm will also be able to sell six million additional 10-digit numbers with prefixes of ‘0980', ‘0981', ‘0970', ‘0971', ‘0960' and ‘0961'.
The ministry estimates that if the ‘0' and ‘1' digits are added to all existing prefixes of domestic mobile networks, Viet Nam will add 20 million new subscribers using 10-digit numbers.
In a recent press release, the ministry announced that all 11-digit mobile phone numbers will be changed into 10-digit numbers on March 1.
This has been welcomed by Viet Nam's roughly 40 million 11-digit subscribers, as most users see calls from 11-digit numbers as spam. This is because marketing agents usually prefer 11-digit numbers as they are cheaper than the 10-digit ones.
Military-run Viettel, VNPT-run Vinaphone and MobiFone are currently the leading telecommunications networks in Viet Nam.
MobiFone's operator was rechristened as the MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation from the Viet Nam Mobile Telecom Services Company last December, after the firm was separated from the VNPT and placed under the supervision of the Ministry in July. — VNS