State owned telecommunications giant VNPT Group has announced it will decommission all pay phones nationwide from March 25 this year due to a slump in demand.

The company began providing the service in 1997, and the number of telephone boxes around the country subsequently rose to about 11,000.

However, demand for the service has gradually decreased with the growing popularity of mobile phone services.

VNPT late last mount said it incurred large losses due to the decreasing demand of its fixed line telephone services.

The company said the number of its fixed line telephone subscribers has reduced from 13 million to five million, again due to the increasing popularity of mobile phones.

“Each year VNPT lost about 25 percent of its fixed-line subscribers, who now just use the service as a backup connection” said deputy head of VNPT’s Business Department Vu Tien Duong. In addition, turnover from each subscriber decreased from 40,000 VND (2 USD) in 2011 to 33,000 VND in 2012, which included a 20,000 VND monthly subscription fee.”

Duong said with such a rate decline, he could not predict the fate of the service.

Meanwhile, according to VNPT’s calculations, while the price of a fixed-line telephone call charge is 650 VND per minute, its subscribers pay just 400 VND, meaning the company loses 250 VND for every minute.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (CIM) has earlier raised the calling charge from mobile phones in an attempt to stimulate use of fixed lines. -VNA