Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Statistics on broadband subscriptions doubted

Statistics of the General Statistics Office (GSO) show there was no growth in new broadband Internet subscriptions in April-August, which stayed at 4.4 million users, but in reality, broadband Internet services in the country were expanding in the period.
This partly results from the different statistical methods and changes in the way people use the Internet.
Bui Quoc Viet, director of the Information Center under Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), said VNPT achieved almost half of the 2012 target for Internet ADSL service in the first half and that the growth was equivalent to 110% of the same period last year. Growth in recent months has amounted to 10%, he noted.
Fresh Internet subscriptions at NetNam Corporation have in recent months risen by 8%, and FPT Telecom has reported its steady growth.
Explaining why the GSO statistics are different from reality, Tran Minh Tan, deputy director of the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC), said statistics of GSO were merely monthly projections based on reports of enterprises and figures of VNNIC.
Tan said monthly reports which enterprises send to VNNIC were normally written in the middle of the following month, which is later than GSO announcements of statistics that are mainly based on figures in previous months.
For example, in January this year, when VNNIC had no report of last year compiled by enterprises, GSO calculated and estimated that the total Internet users nationwide last year numbered 33.4 million, with broadband Internet subscribers accounting for 4.33 million.
After statistics of VNNIC were released, GSO found such figures quite high. Therefore, GSO since March this year has made some adjustments based on VNNIC’s figures so that statistics closely reflect reality.
Reality shows that the slow broadband Internet growth is partly caused by the statistical method as well as changes in methods and technologies for using broadband Internet services, which have not been taken into account. Meanwhile, GSO has just collected statistics on broadband Internet users based on ADSL, one of the first broadband Internet technologies.
Currently, there are some other ways of accessing broadband Internet such as fiber optic and third generation (3G). These new technologies have attracted much attention of broadband Internet users thanks to their speed and mobility.
While the ADSL service has only attracted 4.4 million users though it has been present on the market for long, 3G has achieved stronger-than-expected growth.
Statistics of the Ministry of Information and Communications indicate that since 3G was launched nearly three years ago, over 16 million people had subscribed to this service by June this year, 3.2 million higher than the number released early this year. However, the 3G users only accounted for around 14% of the total mobile phone subscribers.
Besides, according to GSO, the number of new phone users in January-August reached an estimated 7.65 million, up 13.6% from the same period last year. Until the end of last month, the total number of phone users nationwide had amounted to 135.8 million, with 15.1 million landline subscribers and 120.7 million mobile users.
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