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VinaPhone has announced a data roaming fee reduction by a staggering 99.7% applicable to post-paid subscribers. Customers will be charged only VND400 a megabyte instead of VND102,400 when traveling to the U.S., Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia.
The above eight countries are popular destinations for a large number of Vietnamese visitors, so the new rate is seen as an effort to satisfy VinaPhone customers when they come there on one hand, and help the telco gain more revenue as many people now tend to shun expensive roaming services when abroad and use free apps instead.
Since early this year, Viettel has also applied a roaming charge among three Indochinese countries equivalent to the domestic charge for calls, texts and data between under a joint effort by Viettel, Metfone of Cambodia and Unitel of Laos.
Local mobile operators not only reduce the charges for roaming services but also change the calculation of charges from many regions to a unique region. This calculation will help users easily register for using services thanks to a simple charge calculation.
Subscribers often turn off data roaming and connection features when going abroad due to high roaming charges. Therefore, the charge reductions will promote the use of data services, leading to an increase in mobile carriers’ revenues.
In 2013, the ministries of information and communications of ASEAN countries discussed a roaming-free policy in the region. Under the move, mobile service providers will gradually cut roaming charges.