VietNamNet Bridge – The strong infrastructure system and the experience in market development of telecom groups will make them the redoubtable rivals to the existing cable TV service providers, including the national VTV.
The biggest advantage of the existing TV enterprises lies in the content production. Meanwhile, this proves to be the biggest disadvantage of telecom groups once their join the TV market.
However, telcos have a great advantage in transmission, which is the biggest disadvantage of the current TV enterprises. It’s obviously an impossible mission for TV enterprises to build up the transmission lines to provide services to every household in communes and villages.
Therefore, TV enterprises anticipate that they would be inferior to telcos when the telcos join the pay-TV market. As soon as telcos expressed their intention to jump into the market, TV enterprises raised a campaign to prevent telcos from entering their land.
In a document sent to competent agencies, the alliance of TV enterprises, headed by VTV, accused Viettel, VNPT and FPT, the big telcos planning to jump into the pay-TV market, of making investment in non-core business fields, thus coming contrary to the government’s policy which says that state owned enterprises need to gather their strength on the main business fields.
However, in reply, the Ministry of Information and Telecommunication has clearly stated its viewpoint that all enterprises are encouraged to take full advantage of their existing infrastructure items to develop diversified services, including cable TV. As such, Viettel, FPT and VNPT can use their existing infrastructure system to provide many other types of services, not only TV.
Therefore, the decision by the telcos to provide pay-TV services should be seen as the way for the telcos to take full advantage of their advantages, instead of “making investment in non-core business fields” as accused by the TV enterprises.
Truong Gia Binh, President of FPT, the biggest technology group in Vietnam, said if telcos are not allowed to jump into the pay-TV market, this would be a big waste of resources to telcos and the society as well. In the context of the network service convergence, one would take loss if he only provides one service on one cable line.
According to Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Director of Viettel, the group had developed 200,000 kilometers of fiber cable nationwide, which means that Viettel’s cable has reached out to every family. Therefore, if Viettel provides cable TV service, it would be able to save the investment costs, provide high quality services and reach to remote areas.
High expectations put on telcos
Analysts believe that the pay-TV market would become more competitive, once telcos officially join the market, thus benefiting customers.
Of the three telcos, Viettel is believed to be the most dangerous rival, followed by VNPT. Both of them are believed to have the best infrastructure systems which reach out to every commune.
People put a high hope that Viettel would be able to make a “revolution” in the cable TV market like it could do in the mobile service market. Price and service quality are always the main factors that decide the enterprises’ success. Meanwhile, Viettel believes that it has both.
VCTV, SCTV and other existing cable TV firms have been providing services based on old technologies. Meanwhile, if Viettel, VNPT and FPT Telecom join the market, they would utilize advanced technologies which would better satisfy the customers’ demand.
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