Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung has directed the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) and network operators to stop the supply of pre-activated SIM cards.
A solution is needed to stop the sale of pre-activated SIM cards this month, he said at a meeting this week.
Pre-activated SIM cards are widely available and users can buy them easily without having to register their details.
Explaining the situation, Nguyen Duc Trung, director of VNTA under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said in taking the number of subscribers as a measure of achievement and business results, telecom enterprises found ways to increase this number.
Earlier, five mobile networks including Viettel, VNPT, MobiFone, Vietnamobile and Gtel signed a commitment to block spam messages in May 2016, applied from July 1, 2017.
The heads of the operators will be responsible to the Minister of Information and Communications for the implementation of this commitment.VNS/VNA
The Ministry of Information and Communications said that under its direction, operators had implemented many measures to prevent spam messages.
Nearly 20 million pre-activated SIMs were retrieved and blocked. Although these solutions had contributed to a significant reduction in spam messages, the problem persisted.
One reason given was that there had been no agreement on the criteria for identifying spam messages. The systems and measures used to block spam messages were not consistent and there was no inter-network mechanism for blocking and filtering messages.
The Ministry of Information and Communications said that it would announce criteria to assess the effectiveness of blocking spam messages.
These criteria would be based on the data reported by customers about spam messages and the technical systems of network operators.
This would be considered an important indicator to assess the quality of mobile services of network operators later and would be published on the websites of the networks so that people can monitor the results of the measures.