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Mobile providers to test changing carriers

Update: September, 12/2015 - 09:46
HA NOI (VNS)— Three major mobile service providers will run technical tests in December, six months later than planned, for operating switching networks without consumers needing to change phone numbers.

The service was expected to be officially put into operation at the beginning of 2017.

The Ministry of Information and Communications yesterday worked with network providers to finalise plans for the service.

At the conference, representatives from Viettel, VNPT and Mobifone said that they could follow the proposed roadmap and were preparing the basic technical requirements.

However, small providers were seemingly hesitant to put this service in place. Gtel was reportedly absent from the conference.

Ha Noi Telecom, which operates the Vietnamobile network, sought to delay the testing until December 2017 because the company is undergoing restructuring.

Still, Deputy Minister Pham Hong Hai repeated that there would be no more delays in testing the service. He stressed that providing this service was essential to meet demand and ensure the rights of consumers, while also promoting competition and the quality of service among providers.

"This kind of service has been provided for years in many countries and it is time in Viet Nam," Hai said, demanding service providers be committed to carrying out the plans.

Hai added that Viet Nam would not encounter large technical problems, as it would learn from other international providers.

It was estimated that with the participation of three major network providers, the service would be available to more than 90 per cent of all mobile subscribers.

Regarding concerns that subscribers would change network providers regularly to enjoy promotions, Hai said the ministry would propose regulations about the timing of switching networks and possibly add switching fees to prevent this.

He said, for instance, that subscribers would be allowed to change networks only 90 days after they had previously switched carriers.

Throughout the world, statistics showed that, on average, between one to five per cent of subscribers change networks.

Hai said the ministry would propose appropriate regulations to ensure the rights of both providers and subscribers and prevent switching en mass when there were promotional programmes.

Network providers at the conference urged the early issuance of instructions about technical standards and system capacity, as well as a legal framework for network providers to make preparations for the changes. — VNS

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