Growth in Vietnam's telecommunications industry is expected to slow in the next five years as it becomes a more "mature market," according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.
The telco industry has experienced tremendous growth over the last two years, the report said. "Between 2008 and 2010, industry revenue and mobile subscribers more than doubled to US$10.3 billion and $155.5 million, respectively."
However, PwC has forecast slower growth for the industry, given the exceptionally high mobile penetration rate 174.4 percent in 2010.
"This brings a new set of challenges to Vietnam's telco operators as they search for new growth avenues besides focusing on market penetration," the company said, adding that companies will try to increase usage, move customers from pre-paid to post-paid, and increase data/media rich services.
PwC said the number of high-speed 3G and broadband subscribers is expected to grow.
"During 2011 to 2013, MobiFone, VinaPhone, Viettel and EVN Telecom-Hanoi Telecom will invest more than VND33 trillion ($1.73 billion) in their 3G networks, with a total of 30,000 base transceiver stations," the report said.
Although the Vietnamese telco market is quite competitive in itself, there are plenty of opportunities for investors, PwC said. Rising income and cheaper phones and IT devices are making telco services more affordable.
The rural market remains relatively untapped, with limited mobile and fixed line access, the firm said.