VietNamNet Bridge – VNG, Line and some other content service providers affirmed that they have suggested operation projects with the big mobile network operators in Vietnam, but they have not got any replies from the operators.
Vuong Quang Khai, Deputy General Director of VNG, said VNG believes that Over
the top content (OTT), such as free messaging and calling through Wifi, 3G has
become a new communication trend which would see a boom in the near future, not
only in Vietnam but all over the world as well.
Since this is the inevitable technological development tendency, VNG believes that the best solution for now is that mobile network operators cooperate closely with OTT service providers in order to provide the best services to users.
Not only the currently popular free messaging services like Whatsapp, Viber, but other services like Facebook Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Skype also have a part in the decrease of mobile network operators’ turnover decreases. Meanwhile, it makes it impossible for state management agencies to control the safety.
“We have made suggestions for cooperation to all the three biggest mobile network operators in Vietnam and we are awaiting their replies,” Khai said.
A senior executive of Line, a free messaging app, has also confirmed that Line has suggested cooperation with two Vietnamese mobile network operators, and it has also not received the answers.
The representative of one of the three biggest networks confirmed he has received the cooperation suggestion. He said he is still considering the solution, and added that if the network operator accepts the cooperation, it would join hands with many partners.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Director of Viettel, once admitted that the OTT services have become a threat to telecom groups, whose basic services (voice calls, messaging, TV) now bring 80 percent of their total incomes.
In late January 2013, on some information technology forums like Heaveniphone…, one could read the entries complaining that it was unable to use VinaPhone’s or MobiFone’s 3G to send messages through free messaging apps such as Line, Kakao Talk.
A question was raised that if the mobile network operators had applied technical solutions to block the apps.
Especially, some sources affirmed that some mobile network operators are developing similar free messaging apps. Therefore, this might be a trick played by the mobile network operators, who tried to persuade users to give up Lie,
However, MobiFone and VinaPhone both have denied the fact, affirming that they did not do anything to block the apps. They said the inaccessibility should be attributed to the software errors or the configuration problem. The two network operators have affirmed that they would be ready to cooperate with Line and Kakao Talk to find out the errors.
“We are still awaiting the instructions from the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) about whether to control the messaging via Internet apps,” an executive of MobiFone said.
Local newspapers in late 2012 reported that MIC was considering applying necessary management measures to prevent the unhealthy competition in the telecom market raised with the appearance of free messaging, calling apps.
The report on the “hottest” apps of Apple store’s Social Network in Vietnam showed that from January 1, 2013 to January 30, 2013, the three leading positions belonged to Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Viber (or Zalo).
However, after the Internet users unanimously boycotted the Chinese service providers, WeChat has seen dramatic falls.