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. However, after mobile penetration had moved rapidly upwards the market started to stall and suffered a correction in 2013. Apart from the statistical adjustment carried out by the MIC, demand appeared to have dropped and growth had generally slowed. 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; as already noted, the government adjusts 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;
- Viettel successfully took control of EVN Telecom in 2012;
- the 3G network rollout had moved quickly, but with lower subscriber growth than expected;
- the regulator had authorised operators to launch trial 4G/LTE networks but has made no commitment to licensing yet;
- plans to merge the state-owned mobile operators, Mobifone and Vinaphone, were abandoned;
- the new plan was to privatise MobiFone, with a IPO in 2015;
- the MIC fined mobile operators for not correctly managing the registration of subscribers;
- the MIC revoked the licences of service providers for failure to roll out networks in time;
- Viettel continued to expand its overseas ventures.
Companies covered in this report include:
VNPT; Vinaphone; Mobifone; Viettel; S-Fone; EVN Telecom (acquired by Viettel); Vietnamobile (Hanoi Telecom); Gmobile (formerly Beeline).