Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/30/2014 -- Since January 2013, we have been using the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority data on the mobile sector. Previously, we made estimates based on figures published by Vietnam's General Statistics Office (GSO) and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), which tended to conflict with each other. The figures available do show a general upward trend in Vietnam's mobile market - although the pace of growth has slowed in recent years. Delays to the launch of 4G mean that, for the short term, operators will concentrate on migrating subscribers to 3G services. The broadband market also shows strong growth, although the geographical challenges of Vietnam's landscape mean there are physical limitations to infrastructure expansion. The fixed-line sector continues to post declines.
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- We are forecasting 159.6mn mobile subscribers by end-2018, a 167% penetration rate. However, we highlight the figure is distorted by inactive prepaid subscriptions and multiple SIM ownership.
- Vietnam fixed-line industry is rapidly contracting; we are forecasting the penetration rate to decline from an estimated 11.2% in 2012 to 9.7% in 2018.
- We have raised our forecasts for the broadband sector this quarter, in light of strong growth in late 2012. We now forecast that total broadband subscribers will rise to 5.1mn by end-2018.
Key Trends And Developments
The launch of a 4G network in Vietnam has been postponed until 2015, with the government keen for 3G services to improve in quality first. An industry survey reported that almost half of Vietnam's 3G subscribers are unhappy with the service they receive.
VNPT must complete its restructuring plan by June 2013; it is under pressure to do so as a change in regulations means that one mobile operator with more than a 20% stake in one firm cannot hold more than a 20% in another operator. VNPT currently owns 100% of both Vinaphone and MobiFone. The government will make a final decision on the restructuring in September 2013.
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