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Qualcomm regional president John Stefanac said the company would continue to support operators in Vietnam in code division multiple access (CDMA) operators and GSM peers enrolling in 3G networks.
"Qualcomm has been responsible for commercialisation of CDMA technology, all 3G networks today are CDMA-based and we continue to support operators in Vietnam," said Stefanac.
CDMA-based operators in Vietnam have witnessed an eroding customer base after one out of three CDMA operators Vietnamobile shifted to e-GSM technology network in 2008, making the total customer base reduce from 10 million subscribers to around three million during 2008-2010.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) said CDMA operators EVN Telecom and S-Fone with a customer base of around three million people by the end of last year, accounted for 2.6 per cent of the country's total subscribers.
However, financial difficulties have stopped operators from attracting more subscribers. Saigon Postel, in charge of running the S-Fone network, sold a 40 per cent stake to two local institutions and its peer EVN Telecom which has enrolled 3G network is still facing difficulties in find investment resources.
S-Fone's subscribers decreased from 4.5 million by the end of 2009 to 1.8 million by the end of 2010.
Vietnamobile witnessed strong growth of its customer base from 500,000 by the end of 2008 to four million after a year shifting from CDMA to e-GSM.
"We see strong growth of CDMA in places like India, China, and Indonesia, so there is still a growth development in CDMA. Let's not forget that CDMA is a platform bundled with all 3G network bases so whether they are CDMA 2000 or WCDMA," said Stefanac.
Pham Hong Hai, director of MIC's Telecom Department, said the ministry would suggest granting LTE licences in Vietnam after receiving LTE trial reports from local operators. However, the licencing would not occur until next year.
VNPT, Viettel, VTC, CMC and FPT Telecom have LTE trial licences. However, only three of them are aggressively running trials.