Law on Telecommunications hoped to promote development of new telecoms services

The 2023 Law on Telecommunications (the Law), with 73 articles arranged in 10 chapters, is set to take effect on July 1 this year.

In line with the trend of digitalizing telecommunications infrastructure, while creating a transparent and equitable legal environment for businesses, the Law adds some new services to its scope of regulation, including internet data center (IDC) services; cloud computing services; and basic telecommunications services on the Internet, also known as over-the-top (OTT) services.

The management of the three new services mentioned above will be implemented under a “light-touch regulation” approach, aiming to protect users’ rights, ensure safety and security, and facilitate the development of services.

Worthy of note, the State will not impose restrictions on foreign holding rate for the provision of services in Vietnam. Businesses that wish to provide new services only need to make registration or notification but are not required to obtain licenses. At the same time, they will be entitled to relief of a number of obligations compared to traditional telecommunications businesses. For example, they are not obliged to contribute to the Public Telecommunications Service Fund and pay telecommunications operation charge.


Law on Telecommunications hoped to promote development of new telecoms services (Illustration) 

Regarding the development of telecommunications infrastructure, the Law adds regulations permitting the construction and installation of telecommunications facilities on public property. It enhances the shared use of infrastructure between technical infrastructure project owners and telecommunications businesses. The Law also defines the responsibility of owners of apartment buildings, public works, functional areas, etc., for the construction and installation of telecommunications infrastructure. Meanwhile, People’s Committees at all levels and related ministries and sectors will be responsible for handling acts obstructing the lawful construction of telecommunications infrastructure.

The Law adds obligations of businesses to verify, store and manage subscriber information; handle SIM cards with incomplete or inaccurate information; and prevent spam messages, spam calls and scam calls. As for telecoms subscribers, they are not allowed to use their personal information to enter into contracts for others, unless such is permitted by law. They will be held responsible for the subscriber numbers they have registered.

Regarding market surveillance and promotion of telecommunications development, the law prescribes the management of telecommunications wholesale activities to promote competition in line with international practices. It additionally provides the management of cross-border provision of telecommunications services of foreign organizations; and the regulatory sandbox for new technologies and new models in telecommunications activities.

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