Welcome to AsiaBizTech Web Site

Top Page
Site Map
News at a Glance Member Services AsiaBizTech Resources

Advanced Search

(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 US$14.

    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, VNN announced.

    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 September.

    FPT also offered free modems to new subscribers during the promotion period.

    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 survey said.

    Vietnam's DGPT officials said the fixing of Internet charges will soon be abolished to promote competition among businesses providing Internet services.

    Related story: Vietnam Reaches 6,000 Users Within 6 Months of Internet Launch

    (David Tran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

    <Visit News Center for more Asian news.>

    Copyright © 1997-98
    Nikkei BP BizTech, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Updated: Tue Dec 8 13:08:43 1998 PDT