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Viettel to invest $600 mln in Ukraine

Viettel, the Vietnamese telecommunications company, will invest about $600 million in Ukraine to launch broadband Internet access,

Head of the State Agency for Investment and Investment Projects Management Vladyslav Kaskiv told reporters in Hanoi on Saturday. "Our agency signed a memorandum with Viettel on Saturday on the launch of broadband Internet access. Investment in the project will amount to about $600 million," he said. According to Kaskiv, the term of the project is 5 years. It will be implemented as part of the Open World national Ukrainian project. According to a correspondent of Interfax-Ukraine, Kaskiv explained that the project foresees the complete informatization of rural schools, as well as provision of all Ukrainian pupils with netbooks.

According to Vietnews aiming to become one of the world’s top ten telecom companies with the largest overseas investment by 2015, Viettel has since 2008 launched a series of projects in other countries with committed capital worth hundreds of millions of USD.

Talking about this adventurous move, Nguyen Manh Hung, Vice Director General of the military telecom company, said “voluntarily venturing into difficult circumstances will make us accept a new stream of thinking and a new line of work to become stronger”.

Embarking on that business philosophy, Viettel selected Cambodia as the first destination to deploy its ambitious overseas investment plan. Setting its foot in the neighbouring country in February, 2009, it has to date gained a record number of users of its Metfone mobile phone services. After Metfone services had spread all over Cambodia , in October 2009, Viettel turned its interest to Laos , where it partnered with Lao Asia Telecom to launch the Unitel mobile phone network. At present, both Metfone and Unitel networks hold first place in terms of networking infrastructure and second place in terms of customer subscription in their countries.

Most recently, Viettel has received a licence for establishing the Movitel mobile phone network in the African country of Mozambique . It plans an investment amount of over 400 million USD in Movitel, which is a joint venture network with a group of Mozambique businesses, to target about 85 percent of Mozambique ’s population.

Earlier, the military telecom company accomplished a deal to buy a 60 percent stake worth 250 million USD from the Teletalk network in Bangladesh . Viettel had already bought 70 percent of the Teleco company’s stake in Haiti at a cost of 59 million USD and plans to pump another 300 million USD into the market in order to become a provider of mobile phone and telecom services in Haiti in the first quarter of 2011.

Presently, Viettel is working on schemes to penetrate other countries in Asia and Latin America . With these big projects, the military company has coped with difficulties in establishing its own trademark in foreign markets which made it less competitive than other rivals coming from countries with highly-developed information technologies.

Established in 2001, Viettel is the largest mobile phone service provider in Vietnam and the first Vietnamese provider of mobile services abroad. It is also the only provider of roaming services in Vietnam that connects its prepaid customers with 33 mobile networks from 29 countries and territories.

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