The deputy director general of the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority, Nguyen Phong Nha, used the platform of the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore to confirm that the country’s prime minister his given his approval to a plan to restructure the market to boost competition. Total Telecom reports the official as saying that the move will hopefully lead to the privatisation of state-owned carrier Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services (more commonly known as MobiFone), increasing competition and bringing much needed change to Vietnam’s wireless market. ‘The market will change,’ as a result of the reshuffle, Nha says.
Earlier this month, CommsUpdate reported that the Vietnamese government plans to approve the privatisation of MobiFone by the end of the year. Vietnam’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers will first be hived off from state-owned parent Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) before MobiFone shares are then sold in an initial public offering (IPO) and renamed the Mobile Telecom Corporation, as part of the privatisation process. National PTO VNPT, which also owns the mobile market’s third largest player Vinaphone, has been ordered to restructure its operations to increase competition in the telecoms market. The state will, however, retain a 75% stake in MobiFone post-IPO. Hanoi is also encouraging VNPT to develop other existing businesses, such as multimedia services and information technology, in the face of increasing pressure from military-run mobile market leader Viettel.