Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vietnam's phone, Internet subscriptions rise in first half

HANOI, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam signed up over 9.9 million mobile and fixed phone subscribers in the first half of this year, raising the total to 61.8 million, seeing respective year-on-year surges of 11.3 percent and 69.8 percent, according to the country's General Statistics Office on Wednesday.

Vietnam made total postal and telecommunications revenues of 33trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) (nearly 2.1 million U.S. dollars) in the six-month period, up 32.2 percent, the office said, adding that the state-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group alone gained revenues of 22.2 trillion VND (roughly 1.4 billion dollars).

On July 8, Global Telecommunications Corporation under Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security signed with Russian firm VimpelCom a contract to establish a mobile phone operator named GTel Mobile, which plans to offer its services in mid-2009. Now, six operational mobile operators are VinaPhone, MobiFone, Viettel, S-Fone, EVN Telecom and HT Mobile.

Vietnam had 19.8 million Internet users, or 23.5 percent of its total population by the end of May, up from nearly 16.2 million users by the end of last May, the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center under the country's Ministry of Information and Communications told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Of the 19.8 million Internet users, over 5.8 million are subscribers, including 1.6 million broadband ones, the center said, noting that the country had total international bandwidth of 18,188 Mbps, and 74,625 websites using Vietnamese domain ".vn" by the end of May.

Under the ministry's plan, all ministries, sectors and state administrative agencies at district level upward, institutes, universities, colleges and senior high schools will have broadband Internet connections by 2010.