Vietnamese big mobile operators including MobiFone and Viettel have announced their plan to bump up 3G service fee by 40 percent starting from October 16.
Accordingly, the price of both MobiFone’s MIU and Viettel’s MiMax 3G service will be increased from VND50,000 (US$2.5) to VND70,000 (US$3.5). The fee for students who use the service will also soar to VND50,000 (US$2.5).
Viettel is suffering losses with the current 3G rate, Viettel rep said, adding that the price adjustment is an inevitable step "to close down the price gap between the cost and selling price of their 3G packages."
A source told Tuoi Tre that following MobiFone and Viettel, Vinaphone will announce its plan to increase 3G service price before October 16. After raising the price by 30 percent in late April, this is the second time mobile operators bump up their 3G fee.
An employee of one a mobile operator, who preferred to remain anonymous, revealed that the operators increased 3G data prices because their revenues have been severely affected as more and more users are using smartphone apps to make free calls and send free SMS messages.
The apps, which include Viber, Wala, Zalo, Line, WeChat, or WhatsApp, are available on Android-powered devices as well as Apple products, enabling subscribers to communicate free of charge via a 3G connection, he elaborated.
“Users thus reduce their use of basic services of network operators, which accordingly pulls down revenues,” he added.