The Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) would keep one of its two giant mobile networks, Vinaphone and Mobifone, but let the other spin-off.

The information was announced by Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Vu Duc Dam at the monthly Government meeting on October 26, adding that the o ffice had submitted the plan for approval to the Prime Minister.

It was followed by the Government's restructuring plan for State-owned enterprises and also the regulation on telecom ownership stipulating that an investor with more than a 20-percent stake in one telecom firm cannot have cross ownership of more than 20 percent in another.

Currently, the VNPT owns 100 percent of both VinaPhone and MobiFone.

The group wanted to merge the two networks to combine their net profit. In 2011, the two networks contributed 10 trillion VND (470 million USD), or 80 percent of the group's profits.

However, the merger plan was opposed as the merger would make the new company hold more than 50 percent of the local mobile network, which violates the country's Competition Law.

Data from the Vietnam 2013 White Book on information and communications technologies released on September 16 by the Ministry of Information and Communications showed the VNPT occupied 75.4 percent of the fixed-line telephone market, while Viettel commanded a 40.05 percent of Vietnam's mobile subscriptions.

In the mobile sector, VNPT's MobiFone and Vinaphone ranked second and third with 21.4 percent and 19.88 percent. The remaining market share was occupied by Vietnamobile and GMobile with 10.74 percent and 3.93 percent, respectively.-VNA