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Vietnam picks 3G telecom suppliers

VIETNAM has chosen four local companies to begin offering fast third-generation services to millions of mobile phone users over the next several months, an official said yesterday.

The companies will be officially licensed as soon as the four have deposited a total of 8.1 trillion dong (US$460 million) into a government account, said Pham Hong Hai, director of the Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Selected on Thursday were military-run Viettel, Vinaphone and MobiFone - which are both run by Vietnam Post & Telecommunications Group - and a consortium of EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom.

The companies have committed to invest nearly US$2 billion in 3G networks over three years, Hai said.

They have pledged to begin offering 3G services between one and nine months after they get their licenses, he said.


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