The Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communication ("MIC") has just released and called for public consultation on the Draft Decree amending and supplementing several provisions of Decree No. 25/2011/ND-CP guiding the implementation of the Law on Telecommunications ("Draft Decree"). The deadline for contribution to this consultation is 7 October 2021.

The Draft Decree introduces comprehensive changes focusing on the following areas:

  • Telecommunication license;
  • Administration of competition in the telecommunication market;
  • Administration of telecommunication service charges;
  • Administration of commercial promotion in the telecommunication market;
  • Administration of telecommunication payment card;
  • Management of telecommunication digital repository; and
  • Registration, storage and use of subscribers' information.

Without going into detail, I highlight below some notable issues as envisaged under the above categories:

1. Telecommunication license: The circumstances under which a telecoms license would be revoked are already provided under the Law on Telecommunications, Article 39.1. The Draft Decree supplements a provision, thereby allowing enterprises, at their own initiative, to request for such revocation, for example, due to changes in their business operation.

2. Competition in the telecommunication market: The Draft Decree clarifies the jurisdiction of the Vietnam Telecoms Authority ("VNTA"). Practices restraining competition or those of unfair competition shall be generally under the jurisdiction of the Vietnam Competition Commission. The VNTA shall only handle those that are within the scope of Article 19.2 of the Law on Telecommunications.

3. Telecommunication service charges: The MIC no longer provides the charge rate of public-utility telecommunication service, but may still stipulate its price ceiling and price floor. The retail charge rates must be registered with the VNTA and must be published by the enterprises providing retail services.

4. Subscribers/Users Data Request: The users'/subscribers' information must be retained by the service providers and the service provider is obliged to provide users' information to a competent authority when requested, pursuant to the laws.

5. Mobile number portability ("MNP"): MNP is now recognized in the Draft Decree. MNP would be processed centrally by the Service and Network Development Support Center of the VNTA. This provision shall be stipulated in more detail by the MIC.