As a means of combating churn, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications is reportedly planning on limiting the number of SIM cards that any one customer is able to register, with the maximum set at three per network.
Any users with over three SIM cards will need to register them to another network. Under the proposals, businesses are allowed to register a total of 100 SIM cards each.
Vietnam now has six mobile operators - Beeline, MobiFone, S-Fone, Vietnamobile, Viettel and Vinaphone, with Viettel having acquired E-Mobile in early 2012 - meaning that any one consumer could have up to 18 SIM cards. The proposal is aimed at limiting the number of prepaid users in the country.
The three-SIM limit has met with opposition from operators, with MobiFone’s deputy general director Nguyen Dinh Chien pointing out that SIM cards are frequently used by Vietnamese consumers for devices such as notebook computers and 3G USBs, not just mobile phones. He maintains that the network limit should be five SIM cards, with Viettel Telecom deputy general director Nguyen Viet Dung supporting a limit of more than three SIMs.