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INVESTMENT

Viettel aims to double Myanmar customer base and further expand globally

Updated at Tuesday, 08 Jan 2019, 11:58
The Hanoitimes - Viettel would be the first to develop a 5G network in Vietnam and has invested US$40 million for the development of its own 5G chipset.
Vietnam’s military-run telecoms group Viettel expects to double its current five million subscribers in Myanmar by the end of this year and expand investments globally, Reuters reported. 
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
The telco is interested in investing in North Korea and Cuba, Le Dang Dung, Viettel’s president and CEO was quoted by Reuters as saying. 

According to Dung, the growth seen in Myanmar is rare in the telecom market, as Viettel still has room for grow in the country, adding that this is one of the most promising markets for the company. 

Viettel Global, Viettel’s international investment arm, has invested up to US$1.5 billion in its affiliate in Myanmar Mytel before launching last June. Three months after its establishment, Mytel had gained 3.2 million subscribers and the figure now increases to five million. 

Dung stated that Viettel has first sought permission from North Korea to build a mobile network there in 2010, where Koryolink - a joint venture between the North Korean state and Egypt’s Orascom Investment Holdings - has amassed millions of subscribers since its 2008 launch.

However, the telco is still still waiting for sanctions on North Korea to be lifted and for the country to open its market to foreign investors, he continued. 

Dung added that Viettel is also in talks to buy stakes in existing telecommunications firms in Malaysia and Indonesia, and a 20% stake in a European mobile carrier, but he declined to give further details due to the sensitivity of the deals. 

Additionally, Viettel would be the first to develop a 5G network in Vietnam. He said Viettel had earmarked US$40 million for the development of its own 5G chipset, but was also considering using technology from Ericsson and Nokia.

However, Dung said Viettel plans to stop expanding its investment in the African market, where the company has struggled to make a profit due to poor economic growth.

Viettel currently is the only Vietnamese companies having revenue of over US$1 billion in overseas markets. It has some 43 million clients in foreign markets as of the end of 2017, up 15% year-on-year.

Besides Vietnam, the telco is operating in 11 countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Timor Leste, Peru, Mozambique, Cameroon, Burundi, Tanzania, Myanmar and Haiti.

In 2018, Viettel expects  profit in overseas investments  to grow 32% compared to 2017, while expanding its customer base in foreign markets to 50 million.  
Ngoc Thuy
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