Vietnam marked its 15 th year of Internet access by unveiling the number of Internet users. Since the nation first ‘logged on’ to the network in 1997 it has seen the number of users grow to over 31.1 million.

The figure ranks Vietnam 18 th in the world, eighth in Asia and the third most Internet subscribed nation in Southeast Asia , said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang. The statement was made at a celebration held on December 1 – a date that will now be known as Vietnam Internet Day.

Vietnam has fulfilled its target of 30 million Internet users set by the Government in the national plan for Internet and telecommunication development.

3G Internet’s debut in October 2009 marked a new development in broadband Internet in Vietnam . The number of 3G Internet users reached 16 million by July, 2012, accounting for 18 percent of the country’s population.
2007-2012 has been a boom period for Internet services and application in the country. The network has thrived with broader connection, increasing service diversity, higher quality and cheaper prices, Thang said.

It has successfully served the country’s socio-economic and cultural development. It has met the demand of Vietnamese users and seen off foreign suppliers offering the same service, the official said.

Presently, there are 19 Internet service providers, 1,064 licensed websites and 335 social networks operating in Vietnam .

The Internet’s development in Vietnam has been largely attributed to the Vietnam Posts Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT) and the military-run Viettel Corporation.

As a leader in Internet services and application in the country, VNPT has recorded 3.1 million broadband Internet subscribers and more than 10 million 3G Internet users.

Viettel’s 3G service is now accessible to 80 percent of the population. The firm is striving to connect all communes nationwide to the Internet.

15 years of Internet access has had wide-ranging impacts on Vietnamese society and motivated the country’s socio-economic development. In the current trend of global integration, the network continues an important link between Vietnam and the outside./. VNA