Competition is expected to intensify in the cable-television market with the advent of telecom giants Viettel and FPT Telecom in the next quarter.
Military-run Viettel, which along with state-owned MobiFone and VinaPhone dominates the telecom services market, plans to offer cable television from April, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
Viettel began trial services in March 2013 in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and several other localities for VND85,000 a month for 85 channels.
It has 200,000 kilometers of cable crisscrossing the country for its Internet services.
The coverage nationwide is 350 meters far from a house on average and Viettel plans to reduce this to 100 meters by 2015.
Hanoi-based FPT Telecom's parent, private Internet services provider FPT, also has an extensive cable network and experience of television services via the Internet since 2006.
Nguyen Hoang Linh, deputy general director of FPT Telecom, said since last October the company has been providing cable TV to 200 customers in Binh Duong Province next to HCMC.
It hopes to start providing digital TV services from the second quarter in areas it is licensed to operate like Hanoi, HCMC, Da Nang, Binh Duong, the central provinces of Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, and Dak Lak, and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.
It will provide analog TV services in other cities and provinces around the country.
Industry insiders said the entry of more operators would kick start a price and quality race.
Vietnam Satellite Digital Television Company (VSTV), which provides K+ channels, has cut prices, and major player Saigontourist Cable Television (SCTV), a joint venture between Vietnam Television and Saigontourist, is offering a 30 discount on registration fees for customers switching from other providers.
Nguyen Van Khoa, general director of FPT Telecom, said prices would not be the only factor to attract customers.
“What customers need is to feel satisfied about what they pay for. In other words, it is quality that decides their choice.”
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