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. At the same time, demand for new mobile services appeared to have dropped and growth had generally slowed. There has been a gradual shift to value added services, with the arrival of 3G and 3G+ and ahead of the launch of 4G.
The highly competitive nature of Vietnam’s 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. 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.
Viettel is the largest mobile operator in Vietnam with over 40% market share, followed by MobiFone VTNL-Vinaphone and Vietnamobile. The Vietnamese mobile market has shown moderate growth over the past few years, increasing from mobile penetration of 135% in 2013 to 147% in 2016. However over the past two years the market has reached a saturation point, as mobile growth slow significantly. Further slow growth is expected to continue over the next five years to 2021. By that time penetration is expected to reach over 150%.
In November 2016 VNPT-Vinaphone became the country’s first commercial provider of 4G LTE services when it activated its 1800MHz network. By 2017, all four major mobile operators had been issued 4G licenses, and rollouts had begun with a number of these operators. 4G access will open up many opportunities for rural residents to learn, consume entertainment, find jobs and generally narrow the gap between urban and rural areas.
This report provides an overview of the country’s mobile market and the major operators; the report also includes a range of relevant statistics plus scenario forecasts for mobile subscriber growth.
VNPT; Vinaphone; Mobifone; Viettel; S-Fone; Viettel; Vietnamobile
Number of pages 26
Last updated 21 Mar 2017
Analyst: Phil Harpur
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