Developing data products is the only choice for small networks amid pressure from the giant telecoms VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel.
GTel, the owner of Gmobile network, recently obtained a license to provide 4G services. Gmobile did not test 4G but the three big telecoms have done they have been advertising their services since late last year.
Gmobile is associated with the image of a bee, which was the symbol of Beeline network as it was called in the past, and the ‘billionaire’ service package, designed with sharp price discounts to stimulate demand.
Beeline was initially developed by a joint venture with Russian VimpelCom. Later, the foreign owned capital contribution was transferred to the Vietnamese partner which then renamed the network Gmobile.
For years Gmobile has been using VinaPhone’s infrastructure. Gmobile did not develop 3G services, so analysts believed that it would have difficulties developing 4G.
However, there was an important reason for Gmobile to go straight to 4G: it now owns a part of the 1800 MHz, reserved for 4G technology.
Gmobile may feel secure with 4G deployment because it reportedly received investment from Goldman Sachs, though the value of the deal remains unclear.
Vietnamobile, another small network, has also returned after a long absence. In April 2016, the network operator shifted from the business cooperation contract (BCC) to a joint stock company with charter capital of $1.25 billion.
While Gmobile is still not clear about its strategy, Vietnamobile has made public its business plan. The network operator will invest $450 million to develop 3G throughout the Vietnamese territory, while its services now cover only four large cities of Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang and Nha Trang.
Vietnamobile’s 3G service packages have competitive fees compared with the three big telecoms.
Analysts pointed out that though small network operators make different choices with 3G and 4G, they all plan to develop data products instead of normal ones.
Developing data products is only choice for small networks amid pressure from the three large networks.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, by August 2016, Vietnam had 39 million 3G active subscribers, an increase of 39 percent over the end of 2014. There were 86 million normal subscribers.
Launching 3G in 2009, mobile network operators have begun reaping fruit as more terminal devices have appeared on the market, while phone users used two simcards at the same time to serve their work and entertainment needs.Vietnamnet