The large mobile network providers like Viettel, MobiFone, and VinaPhone have recently launched many promotion programmes but failed to draw the attention of the customers. While Viettel witnessed a sharp reduction in market share, the amount of registered subscribers of MobiFone and VinaPhone slowly increased.
Since the beginning of August, a series of promotion programmes have been applied by many mobile network providers such as MobiFone, which offers 120 percent of the card value for customers with paid-in cards of over 100,000 dong; VinaPhone customers will have 20 minutes free of charge for internal calls, applied for the new post-paid subscribers; S-Fone reduces 30 percent of coverage charge for newly registered Data 180 kits and Vietnamobile gifts 200 percent of the paid-in value for pre-paid subscribers.
However, since the beginning of this year, the growth rate of the domestic mobile networks has not as good as expected.
The statistics showed that the number of MobiFone and VinaPhone’s newly registered customers increased slowly in 2009, with 2-3 million new subscribers.
Viettel suffered the most when the network’s market share has sharply reduced from 41.6 percent to 37.7 percent. Since January 2009, it’s the first time that Viettel offered 7 simcards to develop one new mobile subscriber, compared to 2-3 simcards for a new one previously. In the last six months, the giant mobile network provider has developed 500,000 new accounts per month, reducing by half as it used to do previously.
To make it worse, at the time the other competitors in the market started to lower the call charge, Viettel self-destroyed its image in the market when it involved in arguments with other mobile network providers and the sharp response from the customers over its promotion programmes.
The customers haven’t seen any significant changes but have only seen old promotion programmes. Moreover, due to difficulty, the value of promotion programmes launched from the beginning of the year has decreased considerably. For example, the customers who activated their new simcards last year would get promotion value of 160,000 dong but now they are only gifted 100,000 dong.
While the current mobile networks haven’t found the way out of the difficult situation, the seventh mobile network of Beeline firstly introduced in the market in the mid-July and caused much change in the market.
About two third of about 1 million Beeline customers are those who changed from the old mobile networks. Although they currently use two simcards of different providers at the same time, it’s considered as a warning from Beeline to other competitors in the market.
The fact that Beeline offers the super cheap call charge of 1,199 dong per minute for external calls and free of charge for internal one, starting from the second minute with the maximum call time of 20 minutes has threatened other mobile network providers. In addition, with a prestigious trademark to be recognised all over the world and its success in occupying market shares in Russia, Cambodia, Beeline is seen to cause more challenges to the other competitors in the market.
Despite Beeline’s limited coverage in Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang only, it’s not considered as a disadvantage for the newcomer. Beeline has committed to open their coverage up to 40 cities and provinces nationwide.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Viettel’s vice general director admitted that there were no longer the advantages of large coverage, cheap prices but the network quality, service quality and customer care quality that would identify the position of a mobile network provider in the market.