Mobile network operators shift to providing content services

January 11, 2017 | 09:25 am GMT+7

Vietnamese telcos have geared up to shift from being mobile network operators that provide traditional voice services and SMSs into content service providers in order to seize opportunities from IoT (internet of things).


Gartner has predicted that more than 20 billion devices would connect global IoT by 2020. Meanwhile, according to Cisco, by that time, about 50 billion items would be connected to the internet, including billions of mobile devices, TV, washing machines and cars.

It is expected that by 2020, IoT would create $4 trillion in revenue, 25 million apps, more than 25 billion embedded and smart systems and 50 trillion gigabytes of data.

In such a context, analysts said telecom groups will shift services as they have seen revenue from SMS and voice services decreasing sharply in recent years.

Hoang Quoc Quyen, deputy CEO of Viettel Telecom, confirmed that Vietnam, with 90 million people, has more than 100 mobile subscribers, while the revenue from voice and SMS services is on the decrease. 

Therefore, Viettel, like other network operators, needs to shift to focus on content services.

In 2009, Viettel launched BankPlus, an e-payment service which helped users easily make purchases and sales, and then OTT Mocha services.

Nguyen Tuan Huy from MobiFone also cited a Cisco report about customer access trends by 2020 as saying that 72 percent would be on the 4G network, 75 percent on video and 36 percent on the web.

In such conditions of technological change, MobiFone and other network operators will have to adapt. 

Instead of voice and SMS services, they will have to focus on digital content services such as video, Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT, AI and the apps in SmartHome, SmartCar and SmartCity.

MobiFone has great advantages. It has clients, infrastructure, powerful financial capability and a large distribution network. However, it also has many disadvantages as it needs to change the structure in organization, business and technology in the context of low creativity and cumbersome organization.

MobiFone has launched 4G which can satisfy demand for using video and has made changes in organizational structure, such as setting up an added value center, R&D center and IT center. 

It has also been promoting cooperation to develop in-depth digital content services, video 4K technology and Mobile Ad, and applying Big Data and Cloud Computing to analyze gender, age and customer behavior.

Dang Tung Son, deputy CEO of CMC Telecom said in the last 2-3 years, the firm has been trying to make money from new sources through the cooperation with big partners such as IMB and Microsoft.