Vietnam’s telecoms regulator has warned the country’s major three operators not to slash prices of their international VoIP services or face heavy sanctions.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) held an auction for international VoIP last week and set a price floor at VND850 ($0.04) per minute. It also announced it is requiring MobiFone, Viettel and VNPT to transfer 30 per cent of their international VoIP traffic to smaller enterprises, VietnamNet reported.
While the auction attracted more interest than in the past, the MIC is concerned that the three may drop prices below the current average of $0.058 per minute to attract business from foreign partners. The operators reportedly have made very healthy profits on VoIP traffic over the past few years.
The MIC has threatened to revoke operators’ licences if they once again resort to sharply cutting prices, which have been low for ten years. In 2011 the cost fell to a low of $0.026 per minute, which it said is near the production cost.
Hoang Son, deputy general director of state-owned Viettel, told VietnamNet that the MIC needs to “apply drastic measures to supervise operators to prevent them from dumping the services”.