MNP service for post-paid subscribers: a test for mobile network operators

  • by VNBUSINESS
  • November 23, 2018

A mobile number portability (MNP) service was launched on November 16, but it is still only available to post-paid subscribers.


 
 
Analysts say that MNP in Vietnam is still not a comprehensive market service because it is provided only to post-paid subscribers, a small proportion of total subscribers.

By providing the service to post-paid subscribers first, network operators want to explore the market and predict subscribers’ trends, to draw up reasonable business strategies.

Under the plan, pre-paid subscribers totalling 115 million account for 93 percent of total mobile subscribers. They will have to wait three months to receive the service. This means that the MNP will be fully provided from February 16. 

The Ministry of Information and Communication also said it would be better to implement the MNP plan step by step to avoid negative impact on the market.

However, as most post-paid subscribers are ‘loyal’ clients who don’t have demand to use other networks, their behavior will not truly reflect market demand.

A representative of a mobile network operator, however, said that if MNP service was provided to both pre-paid and post-paid subscribers at the same time, there would be a movement of massive switching to other networks.

MNP will lead to the switching of 10-15 percent of the total subscribers in the market, while each mobile network will see 5-10 percent of its subscribers leaving.

Currently, Viettel has 50 million subscribers, while VinaPhone and MobiFone have 20-30 million subscribers each. If 5-7 percent of their subscribers use MNP, they would lose millions of subscribers, a figure high enough to affect their market share, turnover and profit. In other countries, the MNP has led to big changes in the positions of mobile network operators.

Under the plan, pre-paid subscribers totalling 115 million account for 93 percent of total mobile subscribers. They will have to wait three months to receive the service. This means that the MNP will be fully provided from February 16. 

However, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam quoted its sources as reporting that MNP will be available from the beginning of 2019.

Pre-paid subscribers are users who do not have strong commitments with service providers. They like flexibility and do not hesitate to switch to other networks. They tend to choose low-cost service packages with big data capacity, and they like new technologies. Thus, it is expected that a high number of pre-paid subscribers will leave.

However, challenges will come with opportunities. Mobile network operators may lose a high number of subscribers, but they will get new subscribers also.

GenK cited a source from the Telecom Agency as reporting that by the end of November 16, only 266 subscribers had registered for MNP, which was much lower than expected.

The representative of the agency said this was the first day of MNP application, so the figure should not be seen as an index that shows market demand. 
Source: Vietnamnet

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