The military-run telecoms group Viettel has been ranked 19 out of 784 service providers in terms of the number of subscribers in the global telecoms rankings released by Wireless Intelligence.

Its new position has advanced Viettel by five places compared to the second quarter of 2010. In next place on the list is Sprint Nextel from the US .

In the Southeast Asian region, Viettel also rose by one place, coming second out of 58 service providers, just behind Telkomsel (Telekomunikasi Selular) from Indonesia .

After operating for 10 years, Viettel has become the biggest provider of mobile services in Vietnam with almost 42,200 2G and 3G base transceiver stations (BTS). The number of its subscribers has also risen to over 50 million, accounting for 42 percent of the country’s mobile market.

Apart from taking the lead in terms of subscribers, Viettel is the only telecoms firm in Vietnam to have won the Asia-Pacific ICT Awards Emerging Market Service Provider of the Year in 2009 and the World Communication Awards (WCA) Best Operator in a Developing Market in 2009.

Wireless Intelligence is part of GSM Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GSMC Limited, the organisation behind the GSMA Mobile World Congress and the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress./.