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Vietnamese telecom sector surges during COVID-19

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

According to a press release, technology firms and telcos are believed to be doing well thanks to the higher demand for technological solutions to support the new work-from-home regime.

However, they also have to deal with several challenges during this difficult period, the release added.

Software engineers at FPT Group, the largest Vietnamese IT corporation, said the epidemic has not affected their income, but they have had to work harder.

FPT has made every effort to ensure jobs for its 36,000 workers. The FPT president said that Vietnam has been doing very well in the prevention and fighting against COVID-19. While India and China, the two largest software export centres of the world, are meeting difficulties in their efforts to control the epidemic, FPT will try to find more clients and take more orders to get money to pay workers.

Viettel has also been hit by COVID-19, but it hasn’t thought of laying off workers. President of CMC said despite the epidemic, the group won’t sack workers.

In the context of the epidemic escalation, MobiFone, one of the three largest mobile network operators, predicted a decrease of VN 6.684 trillion in revenue and VN 1.526 trillion in profit compared with the plan.

MobiFone also affirmed it will not lay off workers, though it may have to think of cutting salaries if the epidemic lasts a long time. In principle, salaries for workers are defined based on their business results.

As for VNPT, the corporation estimated the decrease of VND 6.161 trillion in revenue and VND 817 billion in profit. Like MobiFone, it will maintain the current staff, according to VNPT’s deputy CEO Do Dung Thai.

Some analysts believe that technology firms and telcos will make large profits during this pandemic because many enterprises have shifted to the work-from-home regime. This has led to higher demand for better internet, telephone connections, and 3G and 4G services. However, the firms have denied this, affirming that their revenue has decreased.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has requested that telcos make contributions to the fight against COVID-19 by reserving internet bandwidth for online learning and distance working.

Since early April, Viettel has increased the bandwidth by two times for all FTTH subscribers, and it hasn’t charged higher service fees. As for those people in concentrated quarantine areas, the telco offers a preferential service package for 14 days.

VNPT and MobiFone have also made similar moves. For instance, telcos have to pay more for bandwidth rents and transmission capacity, while the revenue is expected to decrease because of many sale promotions programs.

As people go into isolation during the health crisis, businesses have to depend on online tools to deal with their workload. The number of downloads for video conferencing applications has increased as much as five times against early this year, according to the latest data from an analytics platform for tech developers and investors.

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