​Vietnam caps promotions for prepaid mobile subscribers

Mobile carriers in Vietnam will have less freedom in their promotions to prepaid subscribers following a circular by the Ministry of Information and Communications enforcing a ceiling on how much ‘free value’ can be offered. Specifically, telecom providers in the country are now only allowed to offer no more than 20 percent of a service’s value to prepaid subscribers as a bonus during promotional campaigns. The limit will apply to different forms of promotion, including bonus credits, in-kind benefits, and other perks. Previously, the maximum promotional value was set at 50 percent for both prepaid and post-paid subscribers. This limit remains unchanged for the latter. According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the new promotion ceiling aims to promote post-paid subscriptions and represents a crackdown on the abuse of prepaid SIM cards to send out spam messages, a technique typically employed by advertisers and online scammers. The regulation will also ensure fairer competition in the telecom market and better protect the rights of mobile subscribers, the ministry said. Prepaid users who switch to post-paid subscription plans will enjoy the 50-percent promotion limit after the switch. “Mobile carriers found to be in violation of this new regulation will be subject to administrative penalties and tax arrears for illegal promotional campaigns,” a ministry official said. Recently, three major providers in Vietnam – Viettel, Mobifone and Vinaphone – were forced to stop offering data plans that granted subscribers unlimited data to access Facebook and YouTube. These plans were found to be in… [Read full story]

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