Data costs in Vietnam need further cuts to increase usage

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Statistics show that Vietnamese consumers use only about 1.9GB of cellular data on average each month, much lower than the regional countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore where the amounts come in between 4.7GB and 8.5GB.

It is somewhat paradoxical as Vietnam is one of the countries with the best 3G and 4G coverage, at 95% of the population.

The reason is that most mobile subscribers are accustomed to using public Wi-Fi regardless of its drawbacks such as unstable quality, limited range and risks of personal information theft, although they agree that 3G and 4G services have far more advantages over public Wi-Fi such as higher speeds, nationwide coverage, protection of personal information and convenience on the go.

The largest obstacle to more widespread use is the high cost. Most mobile users in Vietnam say that the costs of data packages are higher than their average income. Some are even worried that they might incur more charges if their usage exceeds the limit and then have to rely on public Wi-Fi.

In order for Vietnamese mobile users to phase out the habit of using unsecured public Wi-Fi, greater efforts are needed from mobile service providers. Aware of this situation, domestic carriers have already taken action to gradually remove the barriers of data costs so as to attract more customers.

Last month, Viettel, for instance, decided to raise the data limit for its Mimax plan while keeping the price unchanged, helping to reduce Viettel’s data costs to less than VND10,000 per GB, compared to the VND20,000-40,000 it had been previously.

Other carriers also followed suit with Vinaphone updating its Mimax 100 plan from 2.4GB for VND100,000 a month to 12GB for VND120,000.

These moves are expected to help mobile users change their mentality of restricting mobile data usage and form a habit of using mobile data more frequently and comfortably on their mobile devices.

With the current trend, Vietnamese mobile subscribers can anticipate having more mobile data with better quality and more affordable prices.

Source: Nhandan