Vietnam’s mobile market has grown strongly over the last decade, evidence that the competition model the government has put in place, although with some limitations, has been working. In 2011 and into 2012, however, after mobile penetration had moved rapidly upwards the market started to stall. Demand had dropped and growth slowed significantly. The competitive nature of the mobile segment is due in no small part to it being opened up to new players, importantly including some with no involvement of the state-owned VNPT. With the operators very keen to remain competitive and at least maintain market share, the overcrowded market will inevitably rationalise; that process has begun with the takeover of EVN Telecom by Viettel. As with most other Asian mobile markets, growth in Vietnam was boosted by the early introduction of prepaid mobile services and prepaid remains a vital component of the business today. The view of the market is confused by the reporting of inconsistent subscriber figures, with the government appearing to adjust previously issued figures. The conflicting numbers have made it difficult to obtain a considered view of the market.
In this report we provide an overview of the country’s mobile market and the major mobile players; the report also includes scenario forecasts for mobile subscriber growth to 2015 and 2020.
A downturn in demand hit Vietnam’s mobile market in 2011/2012; Viettel successfully took control of rival operator EVN Telecom at the start of 2012; the roll out of 3G networks has been moving quickly, but subscriber numbers were lower than expected; the regulator had authorised operators to launch trial 4G/LTE networks; the market is waiting on the government’s next move in merging the two state-owned mobile operators, Mobifone and Vinaphone; the MIC fined some mobile operators for not correctly managing the registration of their subscribers; the MIC revoked the licences of service providers for failure to roll out networks in time; Viettel continues to expand its overseas ventures; Vietnamobile asked government for help.
Companies covered in this report include:
VNPT; Vinaphone; Mobifone; Viettel; S-Fone; EVN Telecom (acquired by Viettel); Vietnamobile (Hanoi Telecom); Gmobile (formerly Beeline).