Vnu journal of Science: Policy and Management Studies, Vol. 3, No. (2017) 21-29

 The state of mobile telephone market

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Unit 1
3. The state of mobile telephone market 
in Vietnam 
Vietnam's first mobile network, Mobifone, 
was established in 1993 by Vietnam Posts and 
association with Comvil Vietnam AB of 
Kennevik Group, Sweden. In 1996, VNPT 
established the second mobile network
Vinaphone. There was nearly no competition in 
the mobile telecommunications market since 
both Mobifone and Vinaphone were owned or 
partially own by VNPT. In 2004, Viettel- a 
network of the Military Telecom Corporation, 
was born and developed strongly which made a 
landmark change in the mobile services market 
in Vietnam. In 2014, Mobifone was officially 
separated from VNPT to be an independent 
network. Market competition intensifies. 
Figure 1 shows changes in subscription 
market shares of operators in Vietnam mobile 
telecommunications market in the last decate. 
Viettel with competitive services charges, 
attractive promotion packages and good after-
sale services have successed passing Vinaphone 
and Mobifone to be the largest operator in the 
market. In 2006, Viettel’s market share was 
23% which increased to about 50% in 2016. 
The market share of Mobifone shrank from 
36.5% to 27.3% after 11 years, while that of 
Vinaphone also decreased from 35% to 16.2% 
in the same period. From 2009 to 2014, both 
Viettel and VNPT were considered the 
dominant players in the mobile services market 
since either the separate market share is over 
30% or the joint market share is over 50%. 
After Mobifone’s separation from VNPT in 
2014, Viettel is the only dominant firm in the 
market and must comply with separate 
Another noted feature of Vietnam mobile 
services market competition is that the share of 
small operators also increases in some years, 
but eventually decreases. In 2016, there are 
only two small operators left with faint 
activities. Up to now, Vietnam's mobile market 
has set a relatively firm competition situation 
with three big operators. 
The drastical competition in the mobile 
services market leads to substantial decrease of 
service prices, more attractive promotions, 
more value added services with better quality, 
all resulting in a continuous increase in mobile 
subscription. Figure 2 shows the reduction of 
mobile service charges and the growth mobile 
service revenues in Vietnam. However, with the 
continue growth of Viettel, some worries are 
competition of the market.

D.T.V. Duc, N.P. Hung / VNU Journal of Science: Policy and Management Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2 (2017) 21-29 
Figure 1. Subscription market share of mobile
service operators in Vietnam. 
(Source: Data from [21, 22]) 
Figure 2. Total revenue and average charges of 
mobile services in Vietnam. 
(Source: Data from [21, 22]) 

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