Mobile phone users in Vietnam will be able to switch to a different network without having to change their numbers from next year, according to the communications ministry.
Major networks Viettel, Mobifone and Vinaphone will carry out a test run of the plan in December, deputy minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai at a meeting in Hanoi on Friday.
While representatives of those service providers said they are ready, Hanoi Telecom requested that the trial be delayed until 2017 for it to complete technical preparations.
Deputy Minister Hai, however, rejected the proposal.
He said the move will ensure healthy competition among networks and improve services for users.
He requested relevant networks to prepare to serve switching demands of up to 4 million subscribers with unlimited times.
Vietnam has seven mobile network operators with more than 120 million subscribers in total.
Each of the operators has their own number series. Viettel's numbers, for instance, start with 098 and MobiFone, 090. Currently, users have to switch to a new number if they choose a new network.
Analysts have said once the mobile phone market has reached saturation, it is necessary to give users the option of switching to another service provider to facilitate competition.