Monday, March 17, 2008

Vietnam - GSM

HT Mobile to switch to GSM

Mobile phone network HT Mobile has announced it will change from its current CDMA network to GSM.

HT Mobile said Saturday it had just received an investment certificate for the switch and would launch the GSM technology HT Mobile network in the last quarter of this year.

Mobile network CEO Christopher John Foll said the company had forecast its current network would attract 1 million subscribers but since January last year the company has only signed up 200,000 subscribers.

The network hadn’t been as popular as hoped because of the limitations of cell phone models and designs for CDMA technology in Vietnam and other disadvantageous market conditions, Foll said.

HT Mobile’s customers will be able to use the current service until further notice.

The mobile network, which uses the 092 dialing prefix, plans to move its 200,000 subscribers to another CDMA-technology mobile phone network, S-phone (095), as the switch to GSM is rolled out.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai has asked HT Mobile to ensure its customers’ are not disadvantaged during the switch.

HT Mobile said that four principles - “continuity, free of charge, no bother and account value maintenance” - would be implemented during the period.

The mobile network temporarily stopped signing up new customers on February 16.

HT Mobile, the sixth mobile network operating nationwide in Vietnam, is a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and US-based Hutchinson.

While HT Mobile is “refreshing” its operation, Viettel (098) has offered a 30-percent discount for calls made from 11:00 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. from March 8 to June 30.

Under the deal, customers will be charged VND500 (3 cents) per minute for intra-network calls and VND1,000 (6 cents) per minute for inter-network calls.

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