(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Internet Users in Vietnam on the Rise to 15,000
December 9, 1998 (HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam) -- Vietnam hit a record
number of 15,000 Internet users, a source from Vietnam's Directorate
General of Post and Telecommunications (DGPT) said.
|"The number is far from our expectation of 50,000, but it does not disappoint
us," said Mai Liem Truc, head of the DGPT.
"It is considered a birthday gift on the celebration of the information
highway's first anniversary in this country," Truc added.
Vietnam officially connected to the Internet in November 1997. Truc also
said it has now one more ISP, making a total of five ISPs instead of
the four last month.
The new player is Vietnam Electronics and Telecommunications Corp. (Vietel
Corp.), a telecom joint stock company owned by the Vietnamese Military.
So the list now includes VDC, FPT, Saigon Postel, Information Technology
Research Institute (NetNam) and Vietel.
To take advantage of this opportunity, the ISPs launched their own marketing
campaigns to attract more access users.
VNN, designed by VDC, introduced free Internet access between midnight
and 7 a.m. from Nov. 3 to Dec. 3 in an effort to make the Internet more
popular with local users.
VNN also presented new subscribers with gifts and discount coupons worth
The 10,000th subscriber will enjoy US$700 worth of free Internet time,
while subscribers 9,999 and 10,001 will each receive gifts worth US$350,
Competition increased when FPT-Internet launched a marketing campaign
offering its users six hours of free access from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. in
FPT also offered free modems to new subscribers during the promotion
The campaign was a whopping success, with FPT's handling capacity reaching
91 percent during the promotion and its subscriptions increasing 70
percent, said Truong Dinh Anh, technical manager of the company.
However, its competitor in Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Postel, recently
released an announcement that FPT was unfair when urging users to leave
Postel's Saigonnet to join FPTnet with cheaper access prices.
Ong Van Chien, Postel's Internet manager, said FPT seriously violated
the Internet regulations promulgated by the government. Chien also said
he disregarded a lawsuit against his colleagues at FPT, because he said
it will take too much time and money.
Saigon Postel has 200 clients using its Internet service.
"We are focussing on improving our business instead. We have joined with
VNPT to tap mobile phone service as of this November," Chien said.
The DGPT has asked the Government Pricing Committee to cut Internet access
charges by at least 10 percent.
Vietnam has been included in the list of the countries having sky-high
access fees, the International Telecommunications Union observed.
A survey conducted by Intel Corp. recently showed the Internet access
fees per income in Vietnam accounts for 70 percent. And the rate of
users accessing the Internet per population is not considerable. The
rate in Malaysia is 1 percent and the United States is 30 percent, the
Vietnam's DGPT officials said the fixing of Internet charges will soon
be abolished to promote competition among businesses providing Internet
Related story: Vietnam
Reaches 6,000 Users Within 6 Months of Internet Launch
(David Tran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)
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