Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son has requested the Department of Telecommunications to develop policies for over-the-top (OTT) service, which offers users free phone calls and text messages.

The department will suggest mechanisms, policies and solutions to be implemented in 2014 that lower the impact on the efficiency of telecom businesses, while ensuring the rights of service users and companies.

Earlier, on October 31, the ministry issued Instruction No 75 on international telecommunications service management and development enhancements, including instructing telecom companies to perform research and development.

Meanwhile, Pham Hong Hai, head of the department, said the number of mobile phone subscribers using the system in November 2013 was 120 million, including those not making outgoing calls. With a total population of 90 million people, each Vietnamese person owns 1.3 SIM cards, on average, he said.

Hai added that it is time to restructure the market to ensure sustainable development of telecom firms because small companies, such as S-Fone and Gtel, are facing many difficulties.-VNA