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Vietnam - Shared Short Code Requirements and Restrictions

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The regulations in Vietnam caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that includes Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate Services and Short Codes. 

Regulators

txtNation_screenshot_10_May._06_13.06.14.gif 

Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

The political psychology of a country that fought for so long, so bitterly and so recently for its independence with close neighbors is unlikely to change quickly. The current government sees the importance of greater integration with the world economy and is taking calculated measures to increase the pace of reform. In an effort to comply with WTO stipulation for an independent regulator, the Directorate General of Posts and Telecommunications (DGPT, 1993) was replaced by the Ministry of Posts and Telematics (MPT) in 2002. The MPT is responsible for sector liberalization and for guiding the dismantling of VNPT’s monopoly (who were a major carrier in Vietnam). It was mirrored by the compilation of the Post & Telecommunications Ordinance which also came into force in 2002, the first professional legal document governing the posts and telecoms sectors issued by Vietnam’s legislative body. It covers management efficiency, the creation of a fair and legal environment for enterprises and the protection of consumer interests.

Ties between the MPT (www.mpt.gov.vn) and VNPT remain cozy, creating questions about MPT’s independence and effective power. In reality, VNPT remains a hugely powerful force, sorely testing the independence and fairness of the regulator and its ability to curb VNPT’s influence. The MPT minister, Dr. Do Trung Ta, sits on the Communist Party's central committee.

According to a market note from The Economist Intelligence Unit, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly approved Ordinance 43 on May 25, 2002 to provide a foundation for improved transparency by requiring publication of interconnection agreements, reference interconnection offers and general licensing criteria, as well as requiring interconnection regulations to be based on transparent rules. The ordinance has been unevenly applied. Competitors have had difficulty getting interconnection. Additionally, radio frequency bands have not published and the terms and conditions of individual licenses are opaque.

[source]

Vietnam and the U.S. signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in July 2000 that, among other issues, defines a schedule for direct foreign investment in telecommunications services and sets the stage for conversion of BCCs to equity joint ventures. The agreement calls for Vietnamese partners to retain a 51 percent equity share. Under the BTA agreement, which applies to all countries that have normal trading relations with Vietnam, the schedule for sector opening was as follows:

December 2003 Value added services (e-mail, voice mail, online information)

December 2004 ISP services

December 2005 Mobile cellular services

December 2007 Fixed line services

[source]

These are numerous reference and legislation on the MTP online portal, for example 'Decree No. 90/2008/ND-CP date August 19, August, 2008 of the Government against spam.' 

For a detailed analysis of regulation legislation in Vietnam, see KISDI: Korea Information Strategy Development Institute's "Vietnam's Vision for ICT Legislative Framework".

 

Carriers 

Our shared codes in Vietnam are available on the following carriers:

EVN.jpgEVN   Network name in txtNation's systems: EMOBILE-VN

mobifone_2205.jpg Mobifone   Network name in txtNation's systems: MOBIFONE-VN

Sfone_logo.pngS-Fone   Network name in txtNation's systems: SFONE-VN

Viettel.PNGViettel   Network name in txtNation's systems: VIETTEL-VN

Vinaphone.jpgVinaphone   Network name in txtNation's systems: VINAPHONE-VN

   txtNation_screenshot_14_May._06_15.31.36.gif        Vietnamobile / HTMobile   Network name in txtNation's systems: HTMOB-VN

 

Market Statistics 

Summary

The Vietnam Posts and  Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), owns two of the big networks in Vietnam, VinaPhone and MobiFone. In was announced 23rd April 2011 that VNPT will not be allowed to possess two mobile networks at the same time, and that it will have to equitize one of the two networks, or merge the two networks into one. A lot of investors are drawing up the plans to purchase MobiFone’s stakes as the big mobile network plans to make IPO (initial public offering) this year.

The name “MobiFone” was resounded at the Vietnam Mobile Awards 2010 (VMA) awarding ceremony as the most "Favorite Mobile Network" in Vietnam. This is for the sixth time the mobile network operator has won the title.

 

Geography
Area: 331,114 sq. km. (127,243 sq. mi.); equivalent in size to Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee combined.
Cities (April 1, 2009): Capital--Hanoi (pop. 6.449 million). Other cities--Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon; pop. 7.123 million), Haiphong (pop. 1.837 million), Danang (pop. 887,069), Can Tho (pop. 1.187 million).
Terrain: Varies from mountainous to coastal delta.
Climate: Tropical monsoon. 

People 
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Vietnamese (sing. and pl.).
Population (2009): 85.79 million.
Annual growth rate (2007): 1.188%.
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and other ethnic minority languages.

Flag: Flag_of_Vietnam.svg.png

Originating in what is now southern China and northern Vietnam, the Vietnamese people pushed southward over 2 millennia to occupy the entire eastern sea coast of the Indochinese Peninsula. Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups; ethnic Vietnamese or Kinh constitute approximately 85% of Vietnam's population. The next largest groups are ethnic Tay and Thai, which account for 1.97% and 1.79% of Vietnam's population and are concentrated in the country's northern uplands. 

With a population of more than 900,000, Vietnam's Chinese community has historically played an important role in the Vietnamese economy. Restrictions on economic activity following reunification of the north and south in 1975 and a general deterioration in Vietnamese-Chinese relations caused increasing anxiety within the Chinese-Vietnamese community. As tensions between Vietnam and China reached their peak in 1978-79, culminating in a brief but bloody war in February-March 1979, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many officially encouraged and assisted) or were expelled across the land border with China. 

Other significant ethnic minority groups include central highland peoples (formerly collectively termed Montagnards) such as the Gia Rai, Bana, Ede, Xo Dang, Gie Trieng, and the Khmer Krom (Cambodians), who are concentrated near the Cambodian border and at the mouth of the Mekong River. Taken collectively, these groups made up a majority of the population in much of Vietnam's central highlands until the 1960s and 1970s. They now compose a significant minority of 25% to 35% of the provinces in that region.

Vietnamese is the official language of the country. It is a tonal language with influences from Thai, Khmer, and Chinese. Since the early 20th century, the Vietnamese have used a Romanized script introduced by the French. Previously, Chinese characters and an indigenous phonetic script were both used.



Government 
Type: Single-party constitutional republic (Communist Party).
Independence: September 2, 1945.
New constitution: April 15, 1992.
Branches: Executive--president (head of state and chair of National Defense and Security Council) and prime minister (heads cabinet of ministries and commissions). Legislative--National Assembly. Judicial--Supreme People's Court; Prosecutorial Supreme People's Procuracy.
Administrative subdivisions: 58 provinces, 5 municipalities (Can Tho, Haiphong, Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City). 
Political party: Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) with over 3 million members, formerly (1951-76) Vietnam Worker's Party, itself the successor of the Indochinese Communist Party founded in 1930.
Suffrage: Universal over 18. 

Economy
GDP (2009): $92.6 billion.
Real growth rate: 5.32% (2009); 5.8% (first quarter of 2010 year-on-year).
Per capita income (2009): $1,052.
Inflation rate: 6.88% (average monthly Consumer Price Index of 2009, year-on-year; 8.50% (average monthly CPI of first quarter 2010). 
External debt (2009): 32.8% of GDP, $30.1 billion.
Natural resources: Coal, crude oil, zinc, copper, silver, gold, manganese, iron. 
Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (20.7% of GDP, 2009): Principal products--rice, coffee, cashews, maize, pepper (spice), sweet potato, pork, peanut, cotton, plus extensive aquaculture of both fish and shellfish species. Cultivated land--12.2 million hectares. Land use--21% arable; 28% forest and woodland; 51% other.
Industry and construction (40.3% of GDP, 2009): Principal types--mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply, cement, phosphate, and steel.
Services (39.1% of GDP, 2009): Principal types--tourism, wholesale and retail, repair of vehicles and personal goods, hotel and restaurant, transport storage, telecommunications.
Trade (2009): Exports--$56.6 billion (first quarter 2010: $14.0 billion). Principal exports--crude oil, garments/textiles, footwear, fishery and seafood products, rice (world’s second-largest exporter), pepper (spice; world’s largest exporter), wood products, coffee, rubber, handicrafts. Major export partners--U.S., EU, Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Imports--$68.8 billion (first quarter 2010: $17.5 billion). Principal imports--machinery, oil and gas, iron and steel, garment materials, plastics. Major import partners--China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Exports to U.S.(2009)--$12.3 billion. Imports from U.S. (2009)--$3.1 billion. 

 

Market Growth

                       

.

General region↓ Total number of Internet users (thousands)↓ Internet Users per 100 inhab.↓ Total population (thousands)↓ GDP per capita↓ GDP total (thousands)↓ Mobile subscibers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓ Market Size↓ Market Growth↓  

.

Asia & Pacific 17872 21 87100 821 71509100 80 70002 Medium Fast  

.

                     

Vietnam – forecast Internet subscribers – 2013; 2018

Year

Lower growth scenario

Higher growth scenario

Subscribers (million)

Penetration

Subscribers (million)

Penetration

2013

11.5

12%

15.0

15%

2018

15.0

16%

22.5

21%

 

Vietnam – forecast mobile subscribers – 2013; 2018

Year

Lower growth scenario

Higher growth scenario

Subscribers (million)

Penetration

Subscribers (million)

Penetration

2013

85.0

87%

100.0

102%

2018

90.0

92%

110.0

112%

 

At a recent Mobile Asia Congress, sponsored by the Global System for Mobile Telecommunications Association (GSMA), delegates heard "Foreign delegates heard reports on IT and communications development in Vietnam with the fixed telephone subscription reaching 18 per cent of the national population, cell phones, 145 per cent and internet users, 32 per cent, by late 2010."

 

Currency 

The Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the currency of Vietnam. VND must be used when conveying the price to users. 

10,000 Vietnamese Dong in £GBP

10,000 Vietnamese Dong in €EUR

10,000 Vietnamese Dong in $USD

 

Further Information 

For a comprehensive overview and history of the telecoms market in Vietnam see NDA Ventures' Vietnam Telecom Brief

 

Approval Process 

All services except Micropayments and Mobile Content (Ringtones, Truetones, Videos, Images) require approval before they are permitted to be put in the public domain. We have an existing approval for our mPUSH services, which when using our JunglePay interface, you can bill multiples of VND 15000 without the need for carrier approval. 

To apply for a different service or tariff other than Micropayments or Mobile Content, as part of the application process for you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). The CCF is used to submit to the carriers for them to provision the shortcode and used ongoing to ensure that your service tests the same as the approval. The application should be in English with the text contents in Vietnamese language, Việt.

Shared shortcode approval usually takes 3 weeks upon application approval by mobile operators. 

 

Promotional Guidelines 

You must ensure that service charges, frequency of the service, opt-out instructions, hotline and website (if applicable) are mentioned clearly in all promotional materials. 

See the following link for information regarding general advertising guidelines and requirements in Vietnam:

You must inform "txtNation" two weeks in advance prior to launching any new service(s). All promotional messages must be submitted to "txtNation" for approval prior to broadcasting to mobile subscribers.

Hotline service and availability must be indicated and abide at all times. Hotline service minimum operation hours must be from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm weekdays (Monday to Friday) except on gazette public holidays.

Content provider must not superimpose nor prominently display one price unless all content advertised is being sold at the same price and must state clearly and at all times in all promotional materials the price of the product or service being promoted.

Promotion transmitted via television:

  • The price information must be made available and clearly displayed on the same screen as the short code.

Promotion transmitted via radio:

  • The price information must be announced immediately before or immediately after the announcement of the short code information.

Price information must be denoted using official local currency abbreviation which is represented by VND (Vietnam Dong). 

Content provider can only charge a mobile subscriber when he or she has requested and received a service and they are not allowed to charge a mobile subscriber for non revenue generating services. The non revenue generating services are inclusive of, but not limited to the following. Example:

  • Turning a subscription on and off
  • Listing of users in a chat room
  • Reminder message for subscription renewal will be sent on the last day of the month.
  • Request for help to use a service

Content providers are not allowed to charge on an invalid request by a mobile subscriber. Charging a premium is only allowed when:

  • The delivery channel and charging channel of content or service is the same.
  • There is a proof that the mobile subscriber has received your content or service.

The information contained in this document is subject to change without prior notice.

 

Message Flow Requirements

When running a "subscription service" using the MO billed lines, content providers are allowed to provide a service only to mobile subscribers that have opted-in for your service and maintain the service subscription. Only "time based" subscriptions are allowed, e.g. you must inform them how long the subscription is going to last. As it is an MO billed line, you will have to keep getting them to re-opt-in by replying back to a message you send them, inviting them to send in another billed message. You can not keep on sending them standard rate messages unless they reply. Ensure you keep mobile subscribers database updated at all times and safe keep records and proof of opt-in MO (Mobile Originating) should there be a dispute from mobile subscribers. Ensure the following and make sure to include welcome and reminder message:

  • The nature of the service and charging is made clear to mobile subscribers at all times.
  • Opt-out via SMS is made available to mobile subscribers at all times.
  • Opt-out instructions are to be clearly indicated to mobile subscribers at all times via SMS.

Example:

Price<space><subscription details> Joke Subscription VN10000/msg.

To stop send "STOP JOKE" to XXXX. For any enquiries, please call (844)xxxx xxxx between 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

There are no specific requirements for messages when running non-subscription services on the MO billed lines, however for new applications, your service will be critiqued by the operators to ensure it is fair and not mis-leading. 

 

Billing Types

We operate only Mobile Originated (MO) billing on our shared lines in Vietnam. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.

 

Service Types

Service providers must ensure that all the necessary license(s), rights from the relevant authorities are being obtained before providing and/or launching any services.

Micropayments:

  • Price point
  • Name of service or application or game in this payment
  • Hotline: 19001249

Game:

  • Price point
  • Game name
  • Hotline: 19001249

Application

  • Price point
  • Application name
  • Application download URL
  • Hotline: 19001249 

 

On request, a txtNation brand name may have to be included in all advertisement of services to comply with operator requirements, as well, content provider must submit a copy of all your promotional materials to "txtNation" before any promotional efforts and distribution to the general public.

You must reply to all messages sent to your short code including invalid messages but content providers are not allowed to send “spam messages”.

Definition of spam or mobile advertisement messages: 

  • An advertisement message is when a mobile service provider sends an unsolicited message via their shortcode, without the consent of the mobile subscriber via an MO (Mobile originating) message. However, sending services or content (ringtone, messenger service, etc) is not construed as an advertisement message. However, the content provider must inform in writing and have a valid written agreement with the said mobile operator(s).
  • In any case where the mobile subscriber does not confirm via an MO (Mobile Originating) message on their registration to receive any MT (Mobile Terminating) message (including web and IVR), then the mobile subscriber is considered not to have agreed to receive the service or MT (Mobile Terminating) messages.
  • In the case where of the content provider has to send MT (Mobile Terminating) messages for the purpose of conducting a service test, this is not construed as an advertisement message. However, the content provider must fulfill the following conditions:
  • Obtain mobile subscriber consent via an MO (Mobile Originating) message.
  • Total MT (Mobile Terminating) Messages sent should not exceed 5 messages per day. The content must be different.

  

Service providers running a competition must undertake to ensure that the contest itself is subject to an audit by a chartered accountants’ firm to ensure

  • The distribution of prizes is carried out within reasonable time.
  • The contest is genuine and is transparently carried out;
  • There are actual winner(s) for each contest held; 
  • The prizes for each contest are distributed to the rightful winner(s).

 

Payment Details

MO billing is applied in Vietnam (operators, in general, do not pass us the MO if users do not have sufficient balance on sim cards. There is still a little discrepancy between actual operator payout and the successful delivery reports, in general, more or less 10%. 

  

Shortcode and Keyword Structure

On our shared code in Vietnam we operate on the same 4 digit short code for each carrier, 87XX which is a non-adult, all ages short codes. The full short code is provided on application. 

 

Frequency and Amount

Anti-spam regulations set by mobile operators in Vietnam: 

  • Viettel, EVN and Vietnam mobile is not allowed to send.

For premium SMS messages with a tariff below VND10000:

  • More than 3 messages with the same content from a phone number during 5 minutes.
  • More than 10 messages with the same content from a phone number during 5 minutes.
  • More than 100 messages within 24 hours.

For SMS messages with a tariff above VND10000:

  • More than 3 messages with the same content from a phone number during 30 minutes.
  • More than 10 messages with the same content from a phone number in 24 hours.
  • More than 100 messages within 24 hours. 

Vinaphone you are not allowed to send:

  • More than 3 messages with the same content from a phone number during 5 minutes.
  • More than 5 messages with the same content from a phone number in 10 minutes.
  • More than 30 messages with the same content from a phone number in 1 hour. 
  • More than 300 messages within 24 hours. 

Mobifone:

  • End users are not allowed to use services of a content provider more than VND 150,000 (including VAT) per day  (from 0h00:00 to 23h59:59) 

S-Fone network is not allowed to send:

  • More than 3 messages with the same content from a phone number during 5 minutes.

  • More than 5 messages with the same content from a phone number in 10 minutes.
  • More than 30 messages with the same content from a phone number in 1 hour. 
  • End users are not allowed to use services of a content provider more than VND 100,000 (including VAT) per day (from 0h00:00 to 23h59:59)

Beeline network is not allowed to send:

  • More than 3 messages with the same content from a phone number during 5 minutes. 
  • more than 5 messages with the same content from a phone number in 10 minutes. 
  • More than 30 messages with the same content from a phone number in 10 minutes.
  • More than 300 messages within 24 hours.  

As part of the application process it will also be evaluated if you are delivering value for money. 

Please note that if you are having users or apps send in multiple MO's to achieve a price point, ensure there is a delay between sending in the messages and ensure the messages have different content to stop spam filters blocking the messages. 

 

Taxes

The current rate of tax in Vietnam is available via Wikipedia

The outpayments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown.

 

Dedicated Codes 

At the time of writing Dedicated codes are not available in Vietnam. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in Vietnam via the txtNation Gateway.

Vietnam has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations.

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Vietnam include:

  • Bulk SMS
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  • Avatar
    txtNation Support
    • MO SMS billing is applied in Vietnam (Operators, in general, do not pass us the MO if users do not have sufficient balance on SIM cards).
    • There is still a little discrepancy between actual operator payout and the successful delivery reports, in general, more or less 10%. 
    • Different short code, different out payment.
    • Regarding the payout statements, There is sometimes a delay for delivery of payout statement from operators. 
    • A small operator called EVN is acquired by one of the biggest operators called Viettel.
    • obifone have two kinds of payouts regarding to its categories of subscribers. Say, for VND 15000, If subscribers subscribe Mobifone network >92 days, its operator share is 45%; if subscribers subscribe Mobifone network <=92days, its operator share will be 65%. This is a quite special point to note.
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