The Military Telecom Corporation (Viettel) has won a silver Stevie Awards in the category of New Consumer Service of the Year for its ethnic minority language mobile phone services, which made debut in January 2013.

The awards ceremony to honour the winners was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on May 30.

The switchboard, the first of its kind in Vietnam, provides ethnic minority users with a wide range of entertainment services such as storytelling, music programmes, and farming guidance in their mother tongues.

With over 120 telephone operators and an automatically answer calls switchboard providing inquiry services in 10 ethnic minority languages, the telecom firm has served as many as 2.5 million customers over the past year, or an average 30,000 calls each day, according to the group.

Vietnam is home to about 12 million people of ethnic minority groups, accounting for 15 percent of the nation’s population. However, only 25 percent of them or three million people are using mobile services.

Viettel has so far operated customer care switchboards in the northwestern region, the Central Highlands, northern Thai Nguyen province, and the Mekong Delta localities of Can Tho and An Giang.

Initiated in 2002, Stevie Awards is one of the world’s leading prizes to honour active contributions by individuals and businesses to the development of community-based interests, including the fields of telecom and information technology.-VNA