Newer mobile service providers like Vietnamobile and Beeline have received higher marks from customers than established giants on the market like Viettel and MobiFone, according to the results of a survey by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The survey of telecom service quality in 2010 found that Vietnamobile and Beeline achieved impressive scores in important indicators – especially Vietnamobile, which has rapidly established a reputation for winning market share and holding it, with quicker responses to customer complaints than major telecoms like MobiFone and Vinaphone.
Vietnamobile earned a usability rating of 99.866 percent in the survey, well above the 99.5-percent benchmark, and defeated the three major operators (Vinaphone, MobiFone and Viettel) in such key indicators as voice-call quality and dropped calls.
To stake out market share in the fiercely competitive telecom market, both Vietnamobile and Beeline invested heavily up front in quality. Vietnamobile, for instance, signed a $450 million contract with Ericsson to supply daily operation and management systems.
"We have been working hard this year and we are thankful and glad to see the results of the ministry quality audit," Vietnamobile general director Elizabeth Fong told the English-language daily Vietnam News. "The audit reflects our efforts to invest significantly in advanced technology and service quality for our customers, and we will continue working hard to bring the best to customers."
The deputy director of the ministry's IT and Telecoms Quality Control Administration, Nguyen Duc Trung, said the 2010 telecom quality audit was conducted using reliable equipment to ensure accuracy and prevent any prejudice in the process.
Smaller operators should not be assessed based on disproportionate levels of investment compared to larger players or late market entry, but on quality of service, Trung added.
However, he cautioned, the survey results were valid only for the selected samples during the specific period of the survey and in the locations surveyed and should not be used to compare the service quality of different providers.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai predicted the telecom market would continue to grow, though at a slower rate than in previous years as the market becomes saturated following a long, intense period of expansion. Telecoms should focus now on improving service quality and developing value-added services, such as broadband-based services, he said.
Advantages would flow to providers with diversified infrastructure and good customer care, he added.