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Viettel asks for level playing field

Released at: 15:16, 20/07/2015

Viettel asks for level playing field

Telecoms giant objects to regulations on telecommunications businesses with dominant market shares.

by Hoai An- Thuy Dieu

At a conference of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) reviewing the first six months, held on July 17, the Deputy General Director of Viettel Hoang Son asked the Ministry to revoke regulations controlling enterprises with dominant market shares.

MoIC had issued Circular No. 15 to amend some provisions of Circular No. 18/2012/TT-MIC on the list of the telecommunications business and groups of telecommunications business with huge market shares, effective from June 15, 2015.

Businesses accounting for over 30 per cent of the market share are required to register with the MoIC and guarantee that their prices are not less than cost. Businesses without significant market share, meanwhile, are allowed to introduce prices less than cost as long as they are not too much less than the average price in the market. These businesses need only send a report to the Ministry on their pricing.

Viettel is now the dominant telecommunications firm, including phone services, SMS and internet access, holding a market share of 52 per cent.

The provision has been to Viettel’s disadvantage, especially with the issuance of new price packages from its two main competitors, Vinaphone and MobiFone.

MoIC, however, declined Viettel’s request. Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai said that the largest operator must always be managed closely.

Deputy Minister Le Nam Thang, meanwhile, said that the most important issue for the telecommunications sector is to maintain competitive pressure. If an enterprise is too strong it may overwhelm all the competition. Dominant enterprises must follow the Law on Telecommunications and comply with the Law on Competition.

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