HCM CITY — On January 1, Việt Nam’s leading mobile phone service provider, Viettel Corporation, will become one of the first carriers in the world to no longer collect roaming fees from subscribers in Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia.
Viettel subscribers in Việt Nam, MetFone in Cambodia and Unitel in Laos (both of which are Viettel subsidiaries) will pay domestic fees only for their phone calls and other services in Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia.
“There is no region in the world without a roaming fee, despite the fact that the EU has discussed this issue for a long time. But they haven’t been able to carry it out yet,” Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, a member of the Party Central Committee and general director of Viettel Corporation, said.
EU planned to vote for a no-roaming fee policy on June 17, but there was no agreed price for a telecommunication fee.
In 2013, Information and Telecommunications ministers of South East Asian nations discussed a no-roaming policy within ASEAN.
International roaming fees are fairly high, about US$2 per minute. Thus, under the new plan, Viettel’s three companies will lose 2 per cent of turnover.
“At first, Viettel will suffer a loss of $1 million each day. However, we hope our customers will increase their calling time and internet access,” Hùng said. “Regardless, the policy will definitely promote trade and business among the three nations.”
The free roaming service was recently mentioned by Vietnamese government leaders in a meeting with their Laos and Cambodia counterparts. The aim of the policy is to promote friendly relations as well as cultural, trade and economic exchange. — VNS