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Viettel targets $1.5 billion in 2016 international revenue

Released at: 21:04, 18/10/2016

Viettel targets $1.5 billion in 2016 international revenue

Photo: Duc Anh

Nine international markets to earn $1.5 billion in revenue for telco this year.

by Do Huong

Viettel plans to earn $1.5 billion in revenue in its nine international markets this year.

Laos and Cambodia are the biggest of its markets, which also include Timor Leste, Cameroon, Haiti, Mozambique, Burundi, Peru and Tanzania.

Unitel, Viettel’s brand in Laos, has recorded $1 billion in revenue in its seven years of operations and profit of $300 million. It has 2.5 million subscribers, or a 47 per cent market share, and 35 per cent of the broadband market share.

Unitel covers all districts in the country and 95 per cent of its population, with 4,000 base transceiver stations and 23,000 km of fiber-optic cable. The company has been providing 4G services since June last year.

It is the most effective telecommunications brand name in ASEAN, according to a report released in April by Brand Finance, an independent intangible asset valuation consultancy based in the UK. Its brand value increased 106 per cent compared to 2015, reaching $132 million, and is the No. 1 in the telecom industry in Laos.

In Cambodia, Metfone’s brand value has increased from $85 million in 2015 to $94 million in 2016, according to Brand Finance. It is currently the largest supplier of telecommunications services in the country.

Officially launched in 2009, Metfone is the leading operator in Cambodia with infrastructure including 7,000 stations and 20,000 km of fiber optic cable, reaching 97 per cent coverage with 5.5 million subscribers, representing a 37 per cent market share. In 2015 turnover was $256 million.

In Peru, Bitel has made breakthroughs in its business activities. Turnover was $60 million in the first six months of this year, an increase of 105 per cent year-on-year. Growth in subscriber numbers was five-fold the growth of the total for the country’s entire telecommunications industry.

Its turnover from 3G services in the first six months was 4.5 times the figure in the same period of 2015. Bitel plans to provide 4G services by the end of this year and will have 3 million subscribers.

The military-run Viettel staked out a presence in three big markets in Africa - Cameron, Burundi and Tanzania - in 2015 and expected a three-year wait before earning profits. However, since early this year the markets have been positive. Turnover in Burundi and Tanzania was $16.75 million and $18.26 million in the second quarter.

With a population of 50 million, Tanzania, the most populous overseas market Viettel has invested in, has seen strong growth in terms of mobile subscriber numbers. Halotel, Viettel’s local brand name, covers 95 per cent of the country. Subscriber numbers reached 1 million within three months of launch and 2 million within nine months.

Nexttel, Viettel’s brand in Cameroon, had 2.5 million subscribers in the first six months of this year and revenue reached $35.24 million, up 54 per cent year-on-year. It received the Best Internet Service Provider award in the country.

Viettel’s business in Mozambique was stable, with revenue of $33 million in the first half representing an 8 per cent increase from 5.6 million subscribers. Viettel Global’s turnover was $1.4 billion and its pre-tax profit $58 million in 2015, with 16.5 million subscribers.

This year Viettel plans to develop infrastructure in Myanmar, the most populous overseas market Viettel has invested in. Market growth is high and demand for using data is increasing, with 60 per cent of people owning a smartphone.

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