Two mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) have yet to begin providing services on the market despite receiving licences to operate back in 2009.
Both VTC Telecom and Dong Duong Telecom planned to provide 3G services to mobile subscribers by hiring the networks of existing providers.
VTC Digicom earlier announced it would begin providing services in June 2010 under a co-operative agreement with Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN). VTC planned to hire the network of EVN Telecom to install over 5,000 3G-based transceiver stations (BTS) around the country, but the plan remained on the table.
Dong Duong Telecom was licensed in August of 2009 to supply services beginning in the first quarter of 2010, but the services were still pending.
Both companies have blamed the delays on difficulties in developing customer bases and marketing strategies to compete with other providers with existing telecommunications infrastructure. Some wondered whether major mobile service providers like Viettel, MobiFone and Vinaphone were even interested in sharing infrastructure facilities.
VTC Digicom director Nguyen Hoang Phong told Viet Nam News by phone: "VTC is exploring market segments and considering carefully the most suitable time to bring these services to the market."
According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, even a major telecom like military-run Viettel has signed up only 1.5 million 3G subscribers.