VietNamNet Bridge – Huawei and ZTE have been well known as the big telecom device providers in Vietnam, whose presence in the market has helped make the hi-tech devices cheaper. However, questions have been raised about the security of the products of the two suppliers.
European and US manufacturers and suppliers such as Ericsson, Alcatel, Nokia and Siemens had dominated the Vietnamese telecom device market until the presence of the two Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE.
At that time Ericsson was the biggest equipment supplier and the biggest partner of Vietnamese mobile network operators. However, things have changed quite a lot since the two Chinese manufacturers penetrated the market.
In the competition between Huawei and the European supplier, the BTS (base trans-receiver station) price then dropped by 50 percent in comparison with the lowest price level on the market and by 100 percent in comparison with the highest price level. Experts commented that Huawei then created a record deepest low in the prices of telecom equipments.
Since then, Ericsson has lost a big part of the market share into the hands of the Chinese rivals. Following Huawei, ZTE has also been providing equipments at very low prices.
More Vietnamese mobile network operators then began paying attention to the two Chinese suppliers. Vietnamobile, for example, reportedly signed with Huawei a special contract on equipment providing worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Even big mobile network operators namely VinaPhone and MobiFone also began reducing the equipment purchase from Ericsson, because they were attracted with the low prices offered by the Chinese suppliers.
Especially, the products of the manufacturers have been flooding the market recently, together with the movement of using low cost phone sets and USBs
However, observers have noted that they can see some changes with the movement of using Chinese equipments recently, since the day the US, Canada, Australia and India expressed their doubts about the security threat when using Huawei’s or ZTE’s products.
Manager of a big mobile network in Vietnam, said that though evidences have not been shown, it’s still necessary to take cautious steps to prevent bad things.
Manager of a telco, when asked if the security threat exists in reality, said that Chinese consumer goods have been found as containing toxic chemicals and have been boycotted not only in Vietnam, but all over the world. Therefore, experts have every reason to doubt that spy software exist in the telecom equipments provided by China.
He thinks that Vietnamese telecom groups may reconsider their plan to buy Chinese equipments, simply because the services to be provided with Chinese equipments would not please customers, which would put them at a disadvantage in the competition with the rivals.
The military telco Viettel has pioneered in the movement of using domestically made products instead of low-cost Chinese products. The telecom service provider has also been taking care for every phase of the service providing process to ensure the safety of the system.
An executive of Viettel said the company tries to work with a lot of different equipment suppliers so as to ease the reliance on them. This explains why the suppliers still cannot sell products in big quantities to Viettel.
“We are striving for a self-sufficient policy, i.e we plan to make products ourselves, not only simple, but complicated products as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, the representative of another mobile network said he thinks the Chinese suppliers would find it difficult to offer to sell their products in Vietnam.
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