Service providers come under scrutiny

Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 11:10

Young people surf the internet on mobile phones using 3G services.— VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tu

HA NOI  (Biz Hub) — Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai has ordered the ministries of Finance, and Industry and Trade to monitor telecom fees by three giant providers, in compliance with the Competition Law.

The Deputy PM also asked the Competition Management Department to make public the result of an investigation into the fee hikes by Vinaphone, Mobifone and Viettel, after they increased 3G fees on the same day and by the same amounts.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) was asked to chair and co-ordinate, with the ministries of Finance and Information and Communications, to make clear the differences in the pricing regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Information and Communications against the Government regulation, detailing the implementation of telecom services.

Hai also required the Ministry of Information and Communications to learn from experiences in executing prices of telecom charges and distributing information for the public to clearly understand the pricing policy.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is responsible for monitoring and ensuring benefits for telecom service users.

By mid-October this year, the three giant providers had increased 3G fees on the same day, thus showing signs of collusion among the three providers who used their market domination to violate the Competition Law.

Therefore, the Government ordered authorities to launch a probe, and take punitive sanctions against the three firms if evidence of violations can be established.

As the service providers supplied evidence that they had been charging a fee that had been lower than its costs, and that the fee had been lower than global and regional levels, they were allowed to raise the fee.

Previously, the 3G service was increased from VND50,000 (US$2.5) to VND70,000 ($3.5) per month. However, providers were allowed to raise service fees by up to 40 per cent, which caused public concerns. — VNS

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