VietNamNet Bridge – According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the number of Internet users in March decreased by 500,000 from the previous month. However, Internet service providers have denied this.
Internet users lessen
GSO has estimated that by the end of March 2012, the number of Internet subscribers in Vietnam had reached 4.2 million, an increase of 17.5 percent, while the number of Internet users had reached 32.1 million, up by 15.3 percent in comparison with the same period of the last year.
However, the figures released by GSO before showed that the number of Internet users in March decreased by 500,000 from 32.6 million users in February, and the number of Internet subscribers also decreased by 0.1 million from 4.3 million in February.
If comparing with January, the number of Internet users in February decreased by 800,000, while the number of subscribers remained at 4.3 million.
As such, according to GSO, this was for the second consecutive month the number of Internet users in Vietnam decreased. Meanwhile, in the months before, Vietnam always witnessed the number of users increasing steadily.
However, a report on the Internet development in Vietnam released by the Vietnam Internet Network Center (VNNIC), an arm of the Ministry of Information and Communication, the number of Internet users in February was 30.8 million, including 3G subscribers, accounting for 35.26 percent of the total Vietnamese population. The figure represented an increase of 0.2 million of subscribers in comparison with January (30.6 million subscribers, 35.11 percent of population).
Prior to that, GSO also showed a sharp decrease in the number of users and subscribers in May 2011 in comparison with April, 2011. Explaining this, statistical officers said that GSO only counted on the subscribers which used services in the month, instead of releasing the number of activated subscribers.
In fact, many owners of activated subscribers did not use services. Therefore, the change in the method of calculating subscribers would allow to more truly reflect the real situation of the Vietnamese telecom market.
The number of Internet users maintains positive growth
Tran Minh Tan, Deputy Director of VNNIC, said he cannot understand the calculation method applied by GSO. In fact, the number of users keeps increasing steadily. In the worst scenario, the number of users may not increase, but won’t decrease.
“Once people decide to use Internet services, they have no reasons to give it up. They may try to limit the used capacity, but they won’t stop using,” he said.
“Meanwhile, accessing Internet proves to be a growing tendency, while more and more young people now use Internet. Therefore, the increasing number of Internet users would be a more logical result,” Tan affirmed.
VNNIC’s report on the number of Internet users is released monthly based on the figures reported by Internet firms. VNNIC has found out that there has been the shift from some kinds of subscription to other kinds of services, and ADSL services have seen the minus growth rate. However, it has affirmed that the number of Internet subscribers of different kinds still keeps the positive growth in general.
“VNNIC would work out with GSO to reach a consensus in the calculation method,” Tan said.
Le Ngoc Duc, Director of VDC, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT), also said that the number of fixed Internet subscribers remains stable, while the number of 3G Internet subscribers has been increasing in all cities and provinces every month.
Sharing the same view, an executive of FPT Telecom said that the members of the same families can access Internet both with personal computers through ADSL and with 3G through smart phones. Therefore, the number of Internet users will only increase and won’t decrease.
Source: Buu Dien