4G race: network operators struggle for subscribers

July 26, 2017 | 09:56 am GMT+7

The 4G competition has begun heating up, with service providers affirming they don’t intend to compete on prices but on service quality and added content.


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However, the fees of basic service packages have decreased. Observers noted that the service fees announced by MobiFone last week are nearly the same as VinaPhone’s, which was made public. 
The adjustment of data rates by VinaPhone in early July marked the first milestone in the competition of the three largest mobile network operators, namely VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel, since the day they began exploiting 4G technology. 
BIG70 package with the subscription fee of VND70,000 a month now has the capacity of 2.4 GB instead of 1.6 GB, while the capacity of BIG 200 (VND200,000 a month) was raised from 5.5 GB to 11 GB and the capacity of BIG 300 (VND300,000) was raised from 10 GB to 18 GB.
It has launched two new packages – BIG90 and BIG120, with the capacity and subscription fee of 3.5 GB/VND90,000 and 6GB/VND120,000, respectively.
Just one day after VinaPhone announced the service packages and stated these were the ‘cheapest’ services in the market, MobiFone launched four basic data service packages HD70-HD90-HD120 and HD200 with the subscription fees of VND70,000, VND90,000, VND120,000 and VND200,000, designed exactly the same with VinaPhone’s for the service capacity of 2.4, 3.5. 6 and 11GB, respectively.

As for Viettel, the smallest package has the subscription fee of VND90,000 for 3GB capacity. There are also the 5GB/VND125,000 and VND10GB/VND200,000 packages. The specific packages offered to Facebook and Youtube users are also designed in a way to encourage use as much as possible.

Prepaid subscribers of 4G Facebook (VND30,000 a month) has the ‘quota’ of 20 GB for accessing Facebook for 30 days, while there is no limitation in capacity for post-paid subscribers.
As for Youtube package, the fee for prepaid customers is VND10,000 per day for 3G capacity use, VND30,000 for 9GB for nine days and VND100,000 for 30GB and 30 days.
Ngo Quynh C, an user of Viettel 4G data package, said she doesn’t care about the price and she chose the package because it is similar with the 3G package she registered before.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Tuan A, a subscriber of VinaPhone, said he still has not converted his 4G simcard because he still finds it necessary to do this. 
“The coverage is not still large enough and I still cannot find clear difference compared with 3G,” he said. “What I care is whether mobile network operators can stop spam and ensure higher security for 4G users.”
He also noted that the price gaps set by network operators are not considerable.