Vietnam only needs three to four telecommunications businesses to meet domestic needs and avoid waste, said Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop at a ministry review meeting this month.

A range of issues were discussed by the ministry leaders and their counterparts throughout the country including pay television, on-line gaming, financial mechanisms, IT applications and communications with the aim of finding solutions to improve policies in order to review existing problems and boost development in each sector.

Hop said the ministry considered a master plan for common use of telecoms infrastructure as the most important issue. This issue has been an ongoing concern and remained a matter of public concern, he said.

Currently, businesses seem to be in a race to develop their own Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) which was not only a waste of resources but also marred the urban landscape. A large number of separate BTS have been built because telecoms companies do not co-operate in the use of telecoms infrastructure.

He said Vietnam currently had nine telecoms companies but after a discussion, the participants agreed the country only needed three to four telecoms businesses to meet domestic needs.

Seven mobile phone service providers are currently operating in the country: Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, S-Fone, Vietnamobile, EVN Telecom and Beeline. Indochina Telecom and the Multimedia Communications Corporation have been licensed but have yet to launch their services.

The minister said that too many telecoms companies would easily waste too many resources while on the contrary, only a few businesses would result in a monopoly. Therefore, the Ministry needed to build a suitable policy to overcome the problems, he said.

The upcoming policy must encourage enterprises to develop and work together or merge into larger-scale enterprises, said Hop./.