Wednesday, 20 May 2009 00:00 | Michael Schwartz
Web-based analyst Seeking Alpha is predicting that Vietnam will emerge as a major market for mobile broadband by the end of 2014. Vendors of 3G equipment are expected to benefit from the boom.
Predictions that Vietnam will become one of the largest mobile markets in Asia, with an estimated 120 million subscribers by the end of 2014, have been made by Seeking Alpha, a web-based analyst. Such an increase would put Vietnam on a par with Japan in terms of subscriber numbers.
In 2008, the IT and Telecom sector in Vietnam achieved an all time high revenue of USD 5.4 billion, a 38% increase on 2007. With new 3G licenses currently being issued market size is expected to increase to between USD 6 - 7 billion by 2010.
Growth in the Vietnamese ICT sector reflects the country's strong overall economic situation. GDP is currently running at 6.23% and foreign currency reserves stand at USD 64 billion. With a strong import/export sector underpinning its world recession beating performance, there is an emphasis on rapid adoption of advanced communication technologies.
According to Seeking Alpha this creates a special opportunity for 3G vendors. The number of mobile subscribers in Vietnam in 2008 was estimated at 80 million with a further 20.7 million internet users. Forecasts suggest Vietnam's mobile subscribers will grow by 53 million, thereby creating the potential for 3G, which is due to come on stream in Vietnam by the end of this year. A rate of roughly one 3G subscriber for every three mobile users is predicted; if the mobile total is c.120 million, then the implied 3G total is approximately 40 million subscribers.
Licensing continues its vigorous progress in Vietnam. This month alone, the Ministry of Information and Communications awarded four licences to five operators (one to joint bidders). Of these three went to Viettel, VinaPhone and MobiFone, the largest operators in Vietnam with approximately 85% per cent of the mobile phone market as of late 2008. The fourth was given jointly to EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom.
One vote of confidence for Vietnam comes from the GSMA, whose Public Policy Officer Ricardo Tavares commented on the new licenses: "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% of the population uses a mobile phone, but only 3% can use broadband at home."
EventsThere are two important telecoms events scheduled in Vietnam during 2009. Vietnam Telecoms, organised by Beacon Events took place in Hanoi on 19-21 May 2009. Vietnam Comm, jointly organised by VNPT and Adsale Exhibition Services also takes place in Hanoi, from 18-21 November 2009. Developing Telecoms is sponsoring both events - check the sponsored events section for more details.
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