HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam's telecom market posted a 127% increase in total revenues to 213 trillion dong ($9.38 billion) during the first half of 2017, with major contributions from Viettel, with 55% of industry revenues, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (31%), and Mobifone (9.9%).
Telecoms groups reported double-digit revenue growth, helped by subscribers moving from 2G to 3G services, as well as providers' newly deployed 4G services.
Initial reports from the Ministry of Information and Communications said there were some 130 million phone subscribers as of June, including 68.8 million 2G users, 54.2 million 3G users and 7.3 million landline subscribers.
More than 10 million pre-activated SIM cards have been blocked, in an effort to clean up improperly registered SIMs in the country, which has a population of 93 million.
The number of wired broadband internet subscribers continued to increase over the first half, reaching 10.11 million subscribers.
Three major Vietnamese telecoms groups launched 4G services in big cities during the period, and are racing to deploy the service across the country by the year-end.
Leading provider Viettel said its total subscribers grew to about 100 million, with 61 million domestic users. The group reported more than 117 trillion dong in revenue for the period, and 21 trillion dong in pretax profit, achieving almost half its full-year targets.
Separately, the military-run group on Monday said pretax profit from its nine overseas markets rose 155% to $41 million in the first half.
Global revenue expanded 25% to $600 million, mainly generated from mobile services, especially 4G and e-wallet services, and large information technology projects for governments and businesses. These include the line connecting East Timor, a transmission channel for Mozambique's ministries, and a tax payment system for Burundi.
Viettel is targeting $1.4 billion in oversea revenue, a 29% year-on-year increase, and servicing some 50 million subscribers in 2017.
The company expects to complete building network infrastructure in Myanmar, and provide broadband infrastructure for 4G in its 10 overseas markets this year.