ADSL services less attractive amid new technologies
VietNamNet Bridge – Big ADSL service providers, namely VNPT, Viettel and FPT have offered big preferences to new subscribers registering services in May 2013. They have to try every possible measure to prevent the sharp fall in the number of ADSL subscribers, blamed on the application of new technologies.
Ho Thi Dieu Hong, a senior executive of VDC 2, has admitted that the ADSL subscriber growth has been slowing down over the last few years in the context of the rise of the 3G technology.
Revealing the modest growth rate of 15 percent per annum, Hong said that it’s necessary to upgrade the service quality and better take care for customers to retain them.
Bui Phuong Chau from FPT also said its number of new ADSL subscribers still has been increasing, but more slowly than previously.
Le Huu Hien, Deputy Director of Viettel Telecom, said he can see signs of the ADSL market growth stopping short.
Meanwhile, an economist said that the disappearance of hundreds of thousands businesses in the economic crisis had brought lower revenue to telcos, because businesses were the big clients which spent more money on the service than household clients.
A report of the Ministry of Information and Communication showed that by the end of 2012, Vietnam had had 5.2 million subscribers, including 3 million household subscribers. VNPT had led the market with 62 percent of the market share with 3.2 million subscribers. Viettel had had 1.2 million subscribers (23 percent), FPT 700,000 (13 percent), and the remaining 2 percent belonged to NetNam. Meanwhile, Saigon Postel is targeting business clients in big urban areas.
IPTV service packages, including MyTV of VNPT, OneTV of FPT, and NextTV of Viettel, were once hoped to help increase the number of ADSL subscribers. However, this did not come true, because the services now have to compete with higher grade services such as cable TV or satellite TV.
Analysts believe that telcos would not spend more money on ADSL to expand the market. In order to have more subscribers, telcos need to target new urban areas or remote areas. However, this would require big money to set up infrastructure items.
According to Hien, Viettel is still moving ahead with the program on popularizing Internet services, but it would not spend more money on the infrastructure, while it would only provide services on the existing infrastructure.
As soon as 3G technology appeared, ADSL service providers have been falling into dilemma. Currently, the clients who need to use high speed Internet cannot work on 3G with the current speed. Therefore, ADSL still can “live well,” but its attractiveness has decreased.
In fact, ADSL service providers anticipated the situation some years ago. Therefore, they have stopped new investment programs, while focusing on upgrading services to retain existing clients in big markets, including Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang.
Nguyen Tri Nang, an expert, has noted that service providers now have to think of the measures to lure more customers, once the service quality is no more the key of the competition.
“The service providers understand that they cannot expand the markets. Therefore, they have been trying to scramble clients with each other,” Nang commented.
Viettel and FPT have offered the 30-45 percent fee discounts. The clients, who pay fees for 12 months in advance, would get the free 13th month use.
Especially, FPT has announced that the customers of VNPT and Viettel, who leave the networks and shift to use FPT service, would receive the gifts – wifi modems and enjoy the discount of VND20,000 a month. The preferences would be applied to Mega Save, Mega You and Mega Me packages.