“It was okay in the past, and the problems have arisen over the last month,” he complained, adding that the low quality service has seriously affected his business. Luan has to use Mobile Internet regularly as demanded by his job.
“I don’t watch films or downloads big capacity data from Internet. Therefore, I have decided to use 3G service and have stopped using ADSL for my desktop computer,” he explained.
However, Luan said he may have to rethink, if he still has to pay for 3G to use 2G service.
“It takes me tens of minutes to open a website. But sometimes the content of the websites cannot be displayed,” he said.
Of course, Luan many times tried to contact the service provider. “The workers came and confirmed that the wave in the place is weaker than usual. I have been told to use a wave stimulation unit at home,” he said.
Lan in Dong Da district in Hanoi also complained that she met troubles usually when using 3G services. “The network got broken down any time during the Internet access, and anywhere, on Lo Duc Street, Chua Boc area or Le Hong Phong Street,” she said.
Lan many times contacted the network operator through the call center. “Any time when I called, I was told to restart my phone. It was so inconvenient,” she complained.
Especially, the subscribers who travel to remote areas regularly on business keep complaining that 3G service doesn’t help in their businesses, because the service has not reached the areas.
Tuan, a media executive of an ad firm, said smart phones with integrated 3G services, simcards, USB 3G have always been ready in his bags, in case he has to take urgent trips to other areas. However, all the devices became useless one day when he traveled to a mountainous area, 100 kilometers far from the city’s center.
…because of high growth rate of 3G subscribers?
Vietnam has been recognized as the country which has the fastest growth rate of 3G subscribers. It has had 20 million 3G subscribers, i.e. 25 percent of the total population use 3G service, just after three years of commercialization.
A report by Nielsen showed that the number of 3G subscribers in 2012 increased by approximately five times over 2011, while there was no big improvement in the infrastructure system in the years.
The report also pointed out that the Mobile Internet transmission speed is the thing most subscribers complain about.
Dang Thuy Ha, a senior executive of Nielsen, said that 56 percent of surveyed subscribers wish to see the network connection quality to be improved.
In early July 2013, Viettel said it was going to seek the permission for the 3G service fee increase. Viettel’s Deputy General Director Tong Viet Trung said while the number of 3G subscribers increases rapidly and smart phones become more popular to people, the 3G service fees remain low.
Trung said in the first period of the development, mobile network operators set up low service fees in order to lure more subscribers. However, the low service fees have caused some problems that need to be fixed with heavier investments.