VietNamNet Bridge – Pham Ngoc Lang, President of Hanoi Telecom, said the telco is going to lodge a petition to the Prime Minister, because Vietnamobile, the mobile network run by the firm is facing too many big difficulties because of the unleveled playing ground.
Shouting for help
Lang said that Hanoi Telecom and its foreign partner Hutchison have been making great efforts to penetrate the Vietnamese telecom market. However, since it has to play on the unleveled playing field, it has bogged down in big difficulties.
Lang pointed out that in Vietnam, the State always favors state owned telecom corporations, while the policies always strive to protect state owned enterprises. For example, the connection fee policy is designed in the way which does not encourage the development of small networks. Meanwhile, in other countries in the world, there always exists the gap between the big and small networks’ connection fee at 35 percent.
Currently, Hanoi Telecom has to rent electricity poles to hang telecom cable at the exorbitantly high fee which is 7-8 times higher than the previous level. Meanwhile, the firm does not install poles itself in order to ensure the landscapes.
Recently, big mobile networks have raised the station leasing fee by 300 percent, while the channel leasing fee that Hanoi Telecom has to pay to transmission firms has also increased by 269 percent.
“We have spent billions of dollars to build up a mobile network in Vietnam. However, we are now facing too many big difficulties to develop the network because we are in unleveled playing field,” Lang said.
“If the situation cannot be improved, we would not be able to survive. Therefore, we are going to lodge a complaint to the Prime Minister and Ministry of Information and Communication,” he continued.
At a meeting with Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Le Nam Thang, Hanoi Telecom’s General Director Trinh Minh Chau also complained about the firm’s big difficulties.
“Telecom investors once rushed to jump into the Vietnamese telecom market. However, in the competition, some have died, and the others have been dragging their miserable existence in Vietnam,” Chau said.
“Foreign investors have got afraid of the Vietnamese telecom market,” Chau added.
Hanoi Telecom cannot escape from Vietnam
It’s clear that Vietnamobile operators have been on tenterhooks because of the loss and the tough market.
A question has been raised that why Hutchison and Hanoi Telecom do not think of leaving the Vietnamese market, the move that the Russian partner, which ran Beeline network once made when it repeatedly incurred loss.
Hutchison, the foreign partner, has injected too much money in Vietnamobile, while it still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, analysts say, it does not want to give up the game, because it has “thrown the helve after the hatches” and it regrets the huge investment sum. Meanwhile, it seems to be an impossible mission for Hutchison to transfer the stakes of the mobile network.
The Vietnamese telecom market is very tough with the stiff competition among mobile network operators. Both big and small networks complain that the service fees have become so low that telcos cannot earn money for re-investment and development.
The manager of a mobile network in Vietnam said that in the Vietnamese market, players use non-economic measures in the competition. He said that if the watchdog agency does not tighten its management, the telecom market may collapse.
There are seven mobile networks running in the Vietnamese market, which is believed to be too much for a small market
Source: Buu Dien