Telcos will soon get their 3G network deployment deposit returned if they meet obligations and procedure requirements.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently returned 17 per cent out of the remaining VND1,500 billion ($71.4 million) deposit in conjunction with 3G services deployment to VNPT, according to a MIC source.
To have the remaining sum totally refunded, VNPT will have to submit full reports to MIC’s inspection body to further check whether the telco has conducted its 3G services up to its commitment.
At this time, the inspection body has full reports from MobiFone and finalised checks. It will soon summarise the reports and report to the MIC check results, paving the way for MobiFone to get its full refund.
Earlier, the VNPT proposed the MIC consider returning it 3G services deployment deposit remaining amount of VND1,500 billion.
Other telcos are also hunting full refunds.
“Viettel Group sent back documents to MIC asking for a full refund of the deposit. We are looking to get the full deposit back, the sooner the better,” said Viettel Telecom deputy director Nguyen Viet Dung.
Hung hoped the MIC would soon green-light the group’s proposal as it closely met 3G services deployment commitments.
According to MIC’s Telecom Department head Pham Hong Hai, the MIC would refund all the deposits if telcos finalised their 3G services deployment commitments and submitted all required reports.
“Of relevant firms, at this time only VinaPhone has yet to send full reports to the MIC,” said Hai.
Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, Vietnamobile and EVNTelecom’s deposits amount to VND8,100 billion ($385.7 million). Firms enjoy regulated interest rates for this sum. Viettel’s deposit was VND4,500 billion ($214 million), VNPT’s VinaPhone and MobiFone each VND1,500 billion ($71.4 million), Vietnamobile and EVNTelecom each VND300 billion ($14 million). In late 2010 and early 2011 the MIC checked telcos’ implementation of their 3G commitments and refunded half of deposits to VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel.
MIC statistics show that a total of 33,700 3G stations are currently in place throughout the country, with 3G frequency coverage averaging 91.5 per cent in respect to population density and territorial area. 3G subscriber counts number 16 million with access speed averaging 2.5-3.07 Mb/s (against standard speed 7.2Mb/s).