In fact, slow growth of telephone users is ascribed to the market’s saturation while data collection for examining the Internet segment is reportedly improper.

Vietnam had an additional 12.5 million customers of telephone services last year, surging 5.5% year-on-year, GSO reports.

The number of telephone subscribers nationwide as of the end of last month had reached an estimated 136.6 million, a pickup of 2.7% over the same period in 2011. The figure includes 14.9 million customers of landline phone services, down 2.9%, and 121.7 million users of mobile phone services, up 3.5%.

Meanwhile, major mobile services providers Viettel, MobiFone and Vinaphone obtained inconsiderable growth in the mobile service sector last year. This modest growth has been warned by the firms since 2010 as the number of mobile phone users has outnumbered the country’s population.

Also, GSO in its report recorded 355,600 customers of ADSL broadband services last year. As of end-December, the total number of Internet broadband users was 4.3 million, up 5.4% over the year-ago period.

GSO’s figures reflect a situation completely contrary to information of management authorities, experts and companies in the industry who have cited the market’s vigorous growth.

There are many ways to gain access to Internet broadband at home like 3G, FTTH, FTTB or ADSL, a local expert said. When making the report, GSO only picked data about ADSL services whilst failing to take data of other new technologies into account, he said.

Total net revenues of the post and telecom industry were VND179.9 trillion last year, marking up 7.6% year-on-year, says GSO’s report.

By Van Oanh - The Saigon Times Daily - January 13,2013