New SIMs fee to stop fly-by-night subscribers

VietNamNet Bridge – New subscribers to prepaid mobile services will be charged VND 25,000 from January 1, 2013, excluding the cost of a SIM Card (Subscriber Identity Module).

The move aims to curb the increasing number of virtual subscriptions to prepaid services, where users only use the numbers they subscribe temporarily.

The subscription for post-paid mobile services will remain VND30,000, the Ministry of Information and Communications said.

Meanwhile, the ministry will require mobile network providers to obtain permission from the ministry to change the subscription rate and offer promotions.

Mobile network providers will also be required to post a list of subscription fees and SIM prices in their sale outlets at the rates set by the ministry.

Viet Nam currently has six mobile network operators: Viettel, Vinaphone, MobiFone, Vietnamobile, Gtel and Sfone.

New mobile subscriptions in Viet Nam have skyrocketed in recent years, reaching 19 million in 2006, 98 million in 2009 and more than 123 million by the end of September 2012.