Vietnam to become one of largest mobile markets in Asia: report

VIETNAM will become one of the largest mobile markets in Asia, with an estimated 120 million subscribers by the end of 2014, a figure on par with Japan’s current subscriber base.

So said Seeking Alpha, a New York-based website set up in early 2004 and has since grown to be the top destination for stock market opinion and analysis on the Internet, and is widely read by finance professionals and serious individual investors.

According to Seeking Alpha, Vietnam will also be one of the fastest growing markets as Vietnamese operators are expected to add 53 million subscriptions over the next five years, making it a potential boom market for 3G equipment vendors over the next few years.

Assuming 3G is available by the end of 2009, it is expected that the country will have approximately 43 million 3G subscribers, or 36 percent of the total available by 2014.

In early this month, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications awarded four licenses to five operators (one license was awarded to joint bidders).

Three of the four licenses went to Viettel, VinaPhone and MobiFone––the largest operators in Vietnam which commanded approximately 85 percent of subscriptions at yearend 2008.

The last license was given to EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom, which jointly applied for 3G spectrum.

Following the licensing, the GSMA, the organization that represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, congratulated the Vietnamese government on opening the door to a mobile broadband future.

“This is a very important step for Vietnam–technologically, economically and socially. It heralds a new era of high-speed internet access in a country where 66 percent of the population uses a mobile phone, but only three percent can use broadband at home,” said Ricardo Tavares, Public Policy officer of GSMA. A report from the Philippine News Agency

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