Cellphones in Vietnam

Going mobile

Cellphones in Vietnam

Mobile phones have been fully adopted into Vietnamese culture. This industry is developing rapidly, and it is really easy to get a mobile at an affordable price.

Vietnam has around seven mobile operators but the three main ones are the following:

  • VinaPhone : held 30.7 % market share in 2012.
  • MobiFone : held 17.9% market share in 2012.

The government announced merger plans between VinaPhone and MobiFone in June 2012.

The packages offered by mobile phone companies are both prepaid and postpaid. Some mobile operators offer special contracts, for international students for instance, and all of them are available on their websites. To subscribe to one of those packages, people generally have to present a valid ID card.

It is also possible for expatriates who have unlocked cell phones to buy SIM cards. In this case, there is no need to establish a contract. The minimum price for a SIM card is less than US$3. It is possible to buy SIM cards in post offices and designated phone shops.

SIM cards and tariffs

Getting a Vietnamese SIM card (and consequently a Vietnamese number), allows you to get all national incoming calls totally free of charge.

As for domestic calls within Vietnam, the country is divided into 3 zones, which each have their own tariffs:

  • First Zone: Northern Provinces to Quang Binh (Hanoi Haiphong, Halong)
  • Second Zone: Provinces from Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, to the South (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Third Zone: Provinces from Quang Tri to Khanh Hoa and Dac Lac (Hue, Danang and Hoi An)

For calls within the same zone:

  • Peak: 2,100 VND/minute ($0.14 USD)
  • Off Peak: 1,470 VND/minute ($0.09 USD)
  • SMS: 500 VND/ minute ($0.03 USD)

For calls between Zones 1 and 2:

  • Peak: 4500 VND/ minute ($$0.29 USD)
  • Off Peak: 3150 VND/ minute ($0.20 USD)
  • SMS: 1500 VND/ minute ($0.03 USD)

For calls between Zones 1 and 3 and Zones 2 and 3:

  • Peak: 3500 VND/ minute ($0.23 USD)
  • Off Peak: 2450 VND/ minute ($0.16 USD)
  • SMS: 500 VND/ minute ($0.03 USD)

International calls:

Peak: $1.04 USD
Off Peak: $0.86 USD

Europe, Australia and New Zealand
Peak: $1.14 USD
Off Peak: $0.94 USD

Further reading

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