The addition of 44.5 million new phone subscribers last year represented a 35-percent rise on 2009 figures, bringing the total number of fixed and mobile phone subscribers in the country to 170 million, according to a new General Statistic Office report.

The subscribers made up the lion's share of last year's increase. There were also 793,000 new fixed-line subscribers.

The total number of subscribers included 16.4 million fixed telephones, a rise of 5.1 percent on 2009. There were also 154 million cell phone subscribers, an increase of 39.8 percent.

The number of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) telephone subscribers stood at 88.9 million subscribers at the end of December, a 25.3 percent year-on-year increase. There were 11.7 million fixed phone subscribers, up 1.3 percent and the number of mobile subscribers reached 77.2 million, an increase of 29.9 percent.

According to the report, the positive growth in the number of internet subscribers in the country continued in 2010. By the end of December, the total had reached 3.77 million, a 27.4 percent year-on-year increase. The VNPT had 2.62 million subscribers, a rise of 21.8 percent.

The number of internet users was estimated at 27.4 million at the end of last year, a 20.2-percent rise compared with late 2009.

Total net sales for the postal and telecommunications industry in 2010 were estimated at 138.8 trillion VND (6.6 billion USD), up 26.5 percent on 2009. The VNPT had sales of 90 trillion VND (4.2 billion USD), up 26 percent./.