Vietnam’s third-largest mobile operator, VinaPhone, has entered into an agreement with Vodafone Group to tap the UK-based company’s international expertise and promote its business outside Vietnam.
The partnership reportedly starts this month and covers a number of services including roaming, customer service and handset distribution.
Vodafone, with operations in over 25 countries and a total of 415 million connections, has a number of strategic partnerships with mobile operators it doesn’t own a stake in.
The arrangement with VinaPhone is part of a broader agreement Vodafone has with members of the Conexus Mobile Alliance, which it joined as a partner in 2011. The state-owned firm, along with eight other Asian mobile operators, is a member of the alliance.
VinaPhone, which has a 17 per cent market share with 21.3 million connections, is owned by Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT). Just over 23 per cent of its connections are 3G, compared with 19.5 per cent for the market leader Viettel and 35 per cent for Mobifone (also owned by VNPT).
Meanwhile, Vietnam News reported that the country’s top three operators are boosting the speeds of their 3G networks to 42Mb/s.
MobiFone said it has upgraded 1,000 base stations in three cities to 42Mb/s and now has 2,000 across the country offering that speed. Viettel claims to offer the higher 3G speed in 13 provinces and cities and will have 42Mb/s coverage nationwide next year. VinaPhone said it plans to finish upgrading its 13,000 base stations to 42Mb/s next year.