Success story in foreign market

At that time, the leadership of  Viettel decided to invest US$ 1 million, including US$ 446,000 of equipment, in Cambodia. The decision had been made after the company spent US$ 98,000 in surveying the market. It then invested US$ 663,000 in building a cable network from the Vietnamese province of An Giang to the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh. The company built the cable network from July 2006 to October and then deployed its VoIP service in the foreign market. After three months of operating the service, the company earned US$ 81,000, which was later invested in its Internet and mobile networks.

Unitel becomes the No. 1 telecom in Lao.

In Cambodia, Viettel followed the strategies “First build infrastructure, later do business” and “First cover the countryside, later urban areas.”

After three years of operating in Cambodia, Viettel set up a mobile phone network named Metfone and started doing business in mobile services. Metfone enjoyed a surge in the number of subscribers, although it was a greenhorn in the market as its mobile network covered 25 Cambodian provinces and cities. After two years, Metfone surpassed its rivals and held the first position in terms of market share. The company’s success in Cambodia was even more impressive and quicker than in Vietnam.

After its success in Cambodia, Viettel continued to invest in Laos. With its practical experience from Cambodia, Viettel set up a branch in Laos named Unitel, which created thousands of jobs for local people with higher incomes than the country’s average income.

Alongside doing business, Unitel set up a video conferencing network for the Lao Ministry of Defense for free as well as built networks. It also constantly provides free Internet connections for more than 600 schools and education centers in the country.

Regarding Unitel’s success, Deputy Director General of Unitel said, “The development of Unitel in the first two years was like a dream. It took only two years for Unitel to become the No.1 telecom in Lao in all terms of network, number of subscribers, earnings and tax contribution to the Lao State Budget.”

Miracle in the world’s telecommunication industry

In 2010, the most terrible earthquake in human history deprived the lives of more than 300,000 people in Haiti. The country’s capital of Port-au-Prince was almost leveled out, making more than two million people homeless. The disaster happened only three days before leaders of Viettel flew to the Latin American country to sign a contract on the establishment of a joint venture between the Vietnamese telecom and local one.

Viettel is operating in 11 foreign markets.

At that time, few people thought that the Vietnamese telecom would return to the country and implement its investment commitment as 90% of the large structures in the country were either destroyed or heavily damaged, not to mention a cholera epidemic that killed 5,000 local people.

Viettel was not swayed by the numerous difficulties related to geography, technology, infrastructure and even health epidemics in Haiti. It and the Haitian State Telecom set up a joint venture named Natcom. After one year of its investment, on September 7, 2011, Natcom officially opened its telecommunication network with the largest mobile infrastructure in the country. Natcom attracted 250,000 mobile subscribers just after one month of its operation.

Viettel continued its adventure in Africa. The company eyed one of the poorest countries in the continent – Mozambique. It established Movitel there, which has become the largest mobile operator with the most modern infrastructural network, best services and largest market share. Movitel has contributed significantly to changing the face of the country’s telecommunication industry as well as promoting its socio-economic development. In fact, Movitel has been universally seen as a “Miracle in Africa” and received six prestigious international prizes.

Even in Timor Leste, a country with a population of only 1.2 million and difficult terrains, Telemor – Viettel’s trademark in the country, started earning profits after only six months of operation.

But the most impressive success, Viettel has ever made, is in Burundi. Its subsidiary in the country named Lumitel got profits after just one month of operation. What is more, Lumitel became the No.1 mobile operator in the country after seven months, a historical record in the world’s telecommunication sector.

A surprising investment in Peru and bright future in Myanmar

Viettel’s investment in Peru was a big surprise for all as Peru’s telecommunication industry at that time was much more developed than Vietnam. Some powerful telecoms, including Movistar and Claro, had been operating in the market for a long time before Viettel invested in it. Viettel established its subsidiary named Bitelin in the country at a time when the company had little telecommunication infrastructure in Peru.

Before investing in the country, Viettel had recognized that the 3G networks of the existing telecoms had covered all of the big cities, but they had forgot the country’s rural areas. The Vietnamese telecom considered this an opportunity and decided to invest in the countryside. Furthermore, Bitel introduced a range of new mobile services to the market. By the end of 2014, Bitel was the only mobile operator in Peru that covered 100% of the area of the country. As a result, Bitel enjoyed fast growth in numbers of subscribers in the market in the 2015-17 period. In the 2014-18 period, Bitel’s subscriber growth reached 30% in Peru, much higher than the average growth of 6% in the neighboring countries.

Mytel broke the all-time record in the world’s telecommunication industry for subscriber profit growth.

After the Myanmar market was opened up, Viettel decided to invest in the country. It started to fund US$ 1.5 billion in telecommunication infrastructure and then set up Mytel in the country. It took the company only eight months to get 5.2 million subscribers. Mytel broke the all-time record in the world’s telecommunication industry for subscriber profit growth. At this point, Myanmar is the market with the fastest growth among the 11 foreign markets invested in by Viettel. The success in Myanmar is now a motive for Viettel to further invest in foreign markets in the following years.

Translated by Thu Nguyen