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NEWS UPDATES 14 August 2010

Vietnamese mobile operators denied price cuts

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Mobile service providers may not be permitted to cut rates by up to 20 percent as advertised because of Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Telecommunications' guidelines.

On Monday, MobiFone and Vinaphone ran promotions offering discounts of as much as 20.29 per cent for teenagers and students. However, current ministry regulations state that mobile phone service providers can only discount prices by a maximum of 15 per cent.

Dinh Viet Hung, head of MobiFone's Charge and Marketing Division, said discounts had been offered to students and teenagers using Q-Teen and Q-Student. However,

Hung said the average discount rate for all customers was 15 per cent, in accordance with telecoms' regulations. Nguyen Thu Hong, from VinaPhone, said her company had also advertised discounts averaging 10-15 per cent, in accordance with the law.

The higher rate of 20 percent is for those without jobs, or on low-incomes such as students, she said. Post-paid customers will get a discount of just 10 per cent, while pre-paid customers will receive a discount of 15 per cent, Hong said.

Le Nam Thang, deputy minister of Information and Telecommunications, said the ministry on July 30 approved the two mobile phone giants' plans to reduce rates by an average of between 10-15 per cent from August 10. However,

Thang said the firms had advertised discounts of up to 20 per cent, and would therefore be penalised.

Meanwhile, the ministry approved military-owned Viettel's plan to cut rates by 10-15 per cent – or VND100-VND200 per minute – on July 27, to be effective on the same day.

The country's other service providers – S-Fone, Vietnamobile, EVN Telecom and Beeline – have not announced plans to reduce rates.

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