VietNamNet Bridge reports that HT Mobile has begun the process of moving its customers off its CDMA network prior to the cellco switching to GSM technology. The task will take two months, after which HT Mobile will officially cease offering CDMA services. Subscribers may either keep their numbers and handsets and temporarily migrate to the CDMA network of rival cellco S-Fone, or they can choose to permanently switch to one of the GSM operators VinaPhone, MobiFone or Viettel. Customers choosing to stay with HT Mobile will receive a new GSM handset when the cellco turns on its GSM network in June; those choosing to switch will receive some help towards buying a new phone.
HT Mobile, a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and Hutchison International of Hong Kong, joined the mobile market in January 2007, operating a CDMA 850MHz service. Having achieved less than a fifth of its target of one million customers by the end of 2007, the cellco then petitioned the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to change its technology from CDMA to GSM, and received a licence to operate GSM based mobile services in March this year.