23% Vietnamese surf Internet
03:18′ 17/06/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – By the end of May 2008, Vietnam’s average teledensity was 67 phones per 100 residents. The total number of phone subscribers was 58 million. The country also had 6 million Internet subscribers, equivalent to 19.5 million Internet users, reaching a ratio of 23% of the population.

The figures were announced by Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang at the Vietnam Telecom International Summit in Hanoi on June 12-13.

Since 2005, the annual number of new mobile subscribers in Vietnam is equivalent to the total number of subscribers of the previous years. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest telecom growth rate in the world in recent years.

Thang said that this year’s end the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) will allow some telecom firms to implement 3G mobile information technology in Vietnam.

Le Thi Ngoc Mo, Vice head of the MoIC’s Telecommunications Department, said Vietnam encourages healthy competition among mobile operators and the application of new technology and services, especially advanced technologies like 3G, Wimax, etc.

She also said that the MoIC’s plans to boost foreign investment in the fixed telecom network and support Internet Service Providers that don’t have network infrastructure and develop global broadband services in Vietnam.

According to Deputy Minister Le Nam Thang, in its commitments to the WTO, Vietnam will open its telecom market. Accordingly, foreign investors can make joint ventures with local telecom firms to provide telecom services in Vietnam. Foreign investors’ capital in these joint venture must not exceed 49% for services that require network infrastructure and 50% or even no-limited capital for services that don’t require network infrastructure.