Law on Telecommunications, No. 24/2023/QH15

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ATTRIBUTE Law on Telecommunications

Law on Telecommunications No. 24/2023/QH15 dated November 24, 2023 of the National Assembly
Issuing body: National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of VietnamEffective date:
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Official number:24/2023/QH15Signer:Vuong Dinh Hue
Type:LawExpiry date:Updating
Issuing date:24/11/2023Effect status:
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Fields:Information - Communications

SUMMARY

Additional provisions on the development of telecommunications infrastructure

The Law on Telecommunications No. 24/2023/QH15 is adopted on November 24, 2023 by the National Assembly. Bellows are the highlight provisions:

1. The scope of regulation is expanded to 03 new services, including:

  • Data center services;
  • Cloud computing services;
  • Basic telecommunications services on the internet.

2. Additional provisions on the development of telecommunications infrastructure, specifically:

- Telecommunications facilities constructed and installed in workplaces, public service facilities, land and assets of the armed forces, and infrastructure assets used for national and public interests, as specified in the Law on Management and Use of Public Assets;

- Responsibilities of investors in construction of apartment buildings, public facilities, functional areas, and industrial clusters specified in the law regulations on housing and construction;

- The common use of interdisciplinary infrastructure between telecommunications and other technical facilities system has been enhanced.

3. To add regulations on businesses' responsibilities in authentication and the management of subscriber information, dealing with SIMs containing incomplete or inaccurate telecommunications subscriber information, blocking messages and calls that violate the laws. At the same time, telecommunications businesses are not allowed to disclose proprietary information unless permitted by law.

This Law takes effect on July 01, 2024.
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Effect status: Known

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 

THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness

No. 24/2023/QH15

 

 

LAW

ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS[1]

 

Pursuant to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;

The National Assembly promulgates the Law on Telecommunications.

 

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Scope of regulation

This Law provides telecommunications activities; rights and obligations of organizations and individuals engaged in telecommunications activities; and state management of telecommunications.

Article 2. Subjects of application

This Law applies to Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals directly engaged or involved in telecommunications activities in Vietnam.

Article 3. Interpretation of terms

In this Law, the terms below are construed as follows:

1. Telecommunications means sending, transmission, receipt and processing of symbols, signals, figures, scripts, images, sounds or other forms of information by cable, radio, optical devices and other electromagnetic means.

2. Telecommunications activities include investing in and commercially providing basic telecommunications services and value-added telecommunications services and trading in telecommunications commodities; carrying out public-utility telecommunications activities; granting, extending, re-granting, modifying, supplementing and revoking telecommunications licenses; connecting and sharing telecommunications infrastructure; managing telecommunications resources; 
managing standards, technical regulations, quality and charge rates of telecommunications services; and building telecommunication facilities.

3. Telecommunications equipment means technical equipment, including hardware, software and embedded system that are used for carrying out telecommunications activities.

4. Terminal equipment means fixed or mobile telecommunications equipment that is connected to the endpoint of a telecommunications network for information sending, transmission, receipt and processing.

5. Network device means telecommunications equipment installed on a telecommunications network to ensure the provision of telecommunications services.

6. Telecommunications commodities means telecommunications supplies and equipment that may be exchanged, purchased and sold on the market.

7. Telecommunications services include basic telecommunications services and value-added telecommunications services:

a/ Basic telecommunications services means services of information sending, transmission and receipt between two users or a group of users of telecommunications services and between terminal equipment via telecommunications networks;

b/ Value-added telecommunications services means services that provide additional features of information processing, storing and retrieval for users through information sending, transmission and receipt on telecommunications networks.

8. Basic telecommunications services on the Internet means telecommunications services that provide the main features of information sending, transmission and receipt between two users or a group of users of telecommunications services on the Internet.

9. Data center services means telecommunications services that provide features of information processing, storing and retrieval for users via telecommunications networks by leasing part or the whole of a data center.

10. Cloud computing means a model that allows demand-based flexible, adjustable and administrable use of shared computing resources, including networks, servers, storage devices and applications.

11. Cloud computing services means telecommunications services that provide features of information processing, storing and retrieval for users via telecommunications networks with the use of cloud computing.

12. Telecommunications application services means services that use telecommunications networks for provision of application services in the fields of information technology, radio and television broadcasting, commerce, finance, banking, culture, information, health and education, and other fields.

13. Transmission line means a collection of telecommunications equipment used to establish part or the whole of an information transmission line between two given points.

14. Telecommunications network means a collection of telecommunications equipment linked together by transmission lines for provision of telecommunications services and telecommunications application services.

15. Public telecommunications network means a telecommunications network established by a telecommunications enterprise to provide telecommunications services and telecommunications application services to the public for profit purposes.

16. Private telecommunications network means a telecommunications network established by an organization operating in Vietnam to provide telecommunications services and telecommunications application services to the network’s members not for the purpose of earning profits directly from its operation.

17. Local area network means a telecommunications network established by an organization or individual in a location with a definite address and scope which such organization or individual is entitled to lawfully use for the purpose of internal communication not for the purpose of earning profits directly from the network’s operation.

18. Internet means a worldwide information system that uses Internet protocols and Internet resources to provide various services and applications to telecommunications service users.

19. Endpoint of a public telecommunications network means a physical connection point pertaining to a telecommunications network according to relevant standards and technical regulations to secure the connection of terminal equipment to such telecommunications network and demarcate economic and technical boundaries between a telecommunications enterprise and telecommunications service users.

20. Telecommunications connection means physical and logical connection of telecommunications networks, through which telecommunications service users of one network can communicate with users or access services of the other network and vice versa.

21. Telecommunications facility means a construction work, encompassing passive telecommunications infrastructure and equipment installed onto it to serve telecommunications activities.

22. Passive telecommunications infrastructure means a technical infrastructure facility consisting of buildings, stations, antenna masts, cable pylons, drains, tanks, cable pipes, trenches and tunnels and other relevant technical infrastructure facility items for the installation of telecommunications equipment.

23. Data center means a telecommunications facility consisting of buildings, stations, cable, computer and electrical systems together with auxiliary equipment installed onto it for processing, storing and management of data of one or more than one organization and individual.

24. Telecommunications infrastructure means a collection of telecommunications networks and telecommunications facilities.

25. Essential device means an important part of telecommunications infrastructure that is wholly owned or majorly owned by one or more than one telecommunications enterprise on the telecommunications market while it is not economically and technically feasible to establish such part of infrastructure for substitution.

26. Telecommunications resources means national resources, including the telecommunications number storage, Internet resources, radio frequency spectra and satellite orbits under Vietnam’s management.

27. Telecommunications number storage means a collection of telecommunications codes and numbers under Vietnam’s management that are uniformly planned for the establishment of telecommunications networks and provision and use of telecommunications services and telecommunications application services.

28. Internet resources mean a collection of domain names, Internet addresses, autonomous system numbers and other names and numbers under Vietnam’s management, including Vietnam Internet resources and international Internet resources distributed by international organizations to organizations and individuals for use in Vietnam.

29. Telecommunications enterprise means an enterprise established in accordance with Vietnam’s law and licensed to commercially provide telecommunications services in accordance with this Law. Telecommunications enterprises include:

a/ Service provider having network infrastructure, which means an enterprise that establishes and owns a public telecommunications network and provides telecommunications services;

b/ Service provider not having network infrastructure, which means an enterprise that provides telecommunications services without establishing or owning a public telecommunications network.

30. Telecommunications service agent means an organization or individual that signs a contract with a telecommunications enterprise to provide telecommunications services to telecommunications service users.

31. Telecommunications service user means an organization or individual that enters into a contract for provision and use of telecommunications services with a telecommunications enterprise or telecommunications service agent.

32. Telecommunications subscriber means a user of telecommunications services that involves the specification of a certain telecommunications resource or transmission line.

33. Resale of telecommunications services means the provision of telecommunications services by a telecommunications enterprise or telecommunications service agent to telecommunications service users on the basis of renting transmission lines or purchasing telecommunications traffic or services under a contract signed with another telecommunications enterprise.

34. Subscriber identity module (SIM) means an integrated circuit used to attach telecommunications subscriber numbers and containing other relevant data and information for the provision and use of telecommunications services.

35. Foreign institution means an institution established abroad under foreign law.

Article 4. The State’s policies on telecommunications

1. To create conditions for organizations and individuals of all economic sectors to participate in carrying out telecommunications investment and business activities in order to develop universal broadband telecommunications infrastructure, data centers and cloud computing in a sustainable and modern manner; to form digital infrastructure meeting the requirements of digital economy and digital society development, thus contributing to assuring national defense and security and improving the people’s living standards.

2. To guarantee a fair competitive environment in telecommunications activities.

3. To facilitate the development of telecommunications infrastructure and provision of telecommunications services in border, mountainous, highland, river sandbar and coastal areas, on islands, and in ethnic minority areas and areas facing extremely difficult socio-economic conditions; to clearly distinguish public-utility telecommunications activities from telecommunications business activities.

4. To promote the application of the Internet in the administrative, education and training, health and scientific research fields and other fields.

5. To research and develop new-generation Internet technologies, standards and applications, low-earth orbit satellite technology and next-generation telecommunications network technology.

6. To build and modernize private telecommunications networks serving national defense and security activities and operations of Party and State agencies.

7. To promote the development of telecommunications human resources to meet the requirements of effective management, exploitation and commercial operation of telecommunications infrastructure.

8. To intensify international cooperation on telecommunications on the basis of respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality and mutual benefit in accordance with Vietnam’s law and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

Article 5. Assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety, cyberinformation security and information security

1. Assuring telecommunications infrastructure safety, cyberinformation security and information security is the responsibility of all agencies, organizations and individuals. In case of detecting acts of obstructing the lawful construction of, or sabotaging or infringing upon, telecommunications infrastructure, agencies, organizations and individuals shall promptly report such acts to the nearest commune-level People’s Committees or public security offices.

2. Telecommunications enterprises, organizations establishing telecommunications networks, organizations and individuals owning passive telecommunications infrastructure, telecommunications service agents and telecommunications service users shall protect telecommunications networks and terminal equipment.

3. During their operation, organizations and individuals may not cause harmful interference, damage telecommunications equipment, facilities and networks, or harm lawful operation of telecommunications infrastructure of other organizations or individuals.

4. Organizations and individuals engaged in telecommunications activities shall submit to the management, inspection and examination by, and comply with requests of, competent state agencies regarding the assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety and information security in accordance with law.

5. The Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Public Security, People’s Committees at all levels and related agencies shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, protect telecommunications infrastructure safety, handle acts of obstructing the lawful construction of, or acts of sabotaging or infringing upon, telecommunications infrastructure.

6. Telecommunications enterprises shall, at the request of competent state agencies, urgently stop the provision of telecommunications services in case of occurrence of riots or use of telecommunications services aimed at opposing the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam or infringing upon national security under law.

7. When requested by competent state agencies under the Law on Cyber Security, telecommunications enterprises shall provide telecommunications network access points and other necessary technical and operational conditions for such agencies to perform their tasks of controlling information and ensuring information security.

8. The Government shall provide in detail the assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety and cyberinformation security in telecommunications activities.

Article 6. Assurance of information confidentiality

1. Organizations and individuals engaged in telecommunications activities shall protect state secrets in accordance with the law on protection of state secrets.

2. Organizations and individuals shall, when sending, transmitting or storing information on the list of state secrets via telecommunications networks, encrypt information in accordance with the law on cipher.

3. Private information of all organizations and individuals transmitted through public telecommunications networks shall be kept confidential. Information on telecommunications networks shall be controlled by competent state agencies in accordance with law.

4. Telecommunications enterprises may not disclose private information related to telecommunications service users, including telecommunications subscriber information (subscriber name, address and number and other private information provided by users upon entry into contracts with enterprises) and information on the use of telecommunications services (sending/receiving telecommunications subscriber number, location of sending/receiving terminal equipment, time of sending/receipt, communication duration and Internet address), except the following cases:

a/ Telecommunications service users agree to provide information in accordance with regulations on personal data protection;

b/ Telecommunications enterprises make written agreements on exchange and provision of telecommunications subscriber information and information on the use of telecommunications services of service users to serve the charge calculation and invoicing;

c/ Telecommunications enterprises providing telecommunications subscriber information commit acts of shirking the obligation to pay telecommunications service charges under the Minister of Information and Communications’ regulations;

d/ Competent state agencies so request in accordance with law.

Article 7. Information prioritized for transmission via telecommunications networks

1. Emergency information serving national defense, security and cipher purposes.

2. Emergency information serving search, rescue, and prevention and control of disasters, fires and other catastrophes.

3. Emergency information serving epidemic prevention and control.

4. Information in other cases specified by the law on the state of emergency.

Article 8. National master plan on telecommunications development

1. The national master plan on telecommunications development shall be incorporated in the master plan on information and communication infrastructure with a view to identifying objectives, principles and orientations for development of the telecommunications market, telecommunications infrastructure and telecommunications technologies and services, and implementation solutions.

2. The formulation of the national master plan on telecommunications development must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Ensuring conformity with national strategies and master plans and the country’s socio-economic development plans in each period; ensuring compliance with Vietnam’s law and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party;

b/ Ensuring conformity with the trend of convergence of telecommunications technologies and services; facilitating the application of new and advanced technologies;

c/ Ensuring efficient, economical and proper management, exploitation and use of telecommunications resources;

d/ Ensuring sustainable and harmonious telecommunications development; narrowing the telecommunications development gap between regions and areas;

dd/ Ensuring environmental protection, telecommunications infrastructure safety and information security.

3. Based on the master plan on information and communication infrastructure, regional master plans, provincial master plans and relevant technical and specialized master plans, telecommunications enterprises shall formulate their own master plans and plans.

Article 9. Prohibited acts in telecommunications activities

1. Taking advantage of telecommunications activities to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; infringing upon national security or social order and safety, thus causing damage to the interests of the State and lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals.

2. Secretly audio-recording, eavesdropping or secretly watching information on telecommunications networks; stealing or illegally using telecommunications resources, passwords, cryptographic keys and private information of other organizations and individuals.

3. Illegally obstructing the establishment of telecommunications infrastructure, disrupting or sabotaging the establishment of telecommunications infrastructure or the lawful provision and use of telecommunications services.

4. Establishing telecommunications infrastructure or providing telecommunications services without licenses as provided in this Law.

5. Using equipment and software for sending, transmitting and receiving information via telecommunications networks in order to commit violations.

Chapter II

TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUSINESS

Section 1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS

Article 10. Forms of telecommunications business

1. Telecommunications business takes the following forms:

a/ Commercial provision of telecommunications services, which means investment in the establishment of public telecommunications networks and provision of telecommunications services for profit purposes;

b/ Trading in telecommunications commodities, which means investment in the production, exchange, purchase, sale and lease of telecommunications commodities for profit purposes.

2. The commercial provision of telecommunications services must comply with this Law and other relevant laws. The trading in telecommunications commodities must comply with Articles 42 and 55 of this Law and relevant regulations.

Article 11. Ownership in commercial provision of telecommunications services

1. The State shall maintain its contributed capital amounts and shares to ensure its control over the operation of service providers having network infrastructure that are of special importance to the operation of the entire national telecommunications infrastructure and directly affect socio-economic development and national defense and security assurance.

2. The Prime Minister shall promulgate a list of service providers having network infrastructure specified in Clause 1 of this Article.

3. The Government shall provide in detail the cap of contributed capital amounts or shares an organization or individual is entitled to hold in 2 or more different telecommunications enterprises operating in the same telecommunications service market so as to ensure fair competition.

Article 12. Investment in commercial provision of telecommunications services

1. Investment in commercial provision of telecommunications services in Vietnam must comply with this Law and the investment law.

2. Market access conditions for foreign investors in commercial provision of telecommunications services must comply with Vietnam’s laws and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

3. Offshore investment in commercial provision of telecommunications services must comply with the investment law.

Article 13. Rights and obligations of telecommunications enterprises

1. Service providers not having network infrastructure have the following rights:

a/ To build, install and own telecommunications equipment and transmission line systems within their establishments and public service points in order to provide telecommunications services to telecommunications service users;

b/ To rent transmission lines for connecting their telecommunications equipment, establishments and public service points with one another and with public telecommunications networks of other telecommunications enterprises;

c/ To rent transmission lines or purchase telecommunications traffic and services from other telecommunications enterprises for resale to telecommunications service users;

d/ To sub-lease telecommunications infrastructure they have rented to other telecommunications enterprises if it is so agreed by the leasing telecommunications enterprises;

dd/ To be distributed telecommunications resources in accordance with this Law’s provisions on management of telecommunications resources;

e/ To carry out research and development and testing of new technologies and models in telecommunications activities;

g/ Other rights provided in the Law on Enterprises and other relevant laws.

2. Service providers not having network infrastructure have the following obligations:

a/ To make financial contributions to the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Services Fund in accordance with law;

b/ To take responsibility for the quality of services according to registered or declared standards; to ensure correct, adequate and accurate calculation of service charge rates under telecommunications service provision and use contracts;

c/ To submit to competent state agencies’ control and comply with regulations on assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety and information security;

d/ To periodically or extraordinarily report on their telecommunications activities under the Minister of Information and Communications’ regulations; to take responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of reported contents and figures;

dd/ To take measures to block connection, Internet addresses and domain names and other stoppage measures for telecommunications equipment systems, telecommunications services and telecommunications application services used to commit the acts specified in Clause 1, Article 9 of this Law when so requested in writing by competent state agencies in accordance with law;

e/ To work out plans for technical connection serving electronic reporting of figures to meet requirements of the state management of telecommunications under the Minister of Information and Communications’ regulations;

g/ To comply with requests of competent state agencies for mobilizing part or the whole of telecommunications infrastructure and telecommunications services in cases of emergency in accordance with the regulations on national defense and security and state of emergency;

h/ To ensure retention of telecommunications subscriber numbers in case of replacement of telecommunications service providers for the same type of telecommunications services;

i/ To provide services to telecommunications service users whose telecommunications subscriber information is complete and matches information on their personal identification papers presented upon entry into contracts in accordance with law;

k/ To authenticate, store and use telecommunications subscriber information and dispose of SIMs with inadequate or inaccurate telecommunications subscriber information;

l/ To prevent, combat and block illegal messages and calls under the Government’s regulations;

m/ To stop the provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications subscribers that violate the law on telecommunications;

n/ Other obligations specified in the Law on Enterprises and other relevant laws.

3. Service providers having network infrastructure have the following rights:

a/ The rights provided in Clause 1 of this Article;

b/ To be given priority in using space, ground, underground, riverbed, seabed and land areas for public purposes for the construction of telecommunications infrastructure under relevant master plans, standards, technical regulations and legal provisions;

c/ To lease telecommunications infrastructure to other telecommunications enterprises;

d/ To participate in the provision of public-utility telecommunications services.

4. Service providers having network infrastructure have the following obligations:

a/ The obligations specified in Clause 2 of this Article;

b/ To lease passive telecommunications infrastructure to other telecommunications enterprises while ensuring conformity with the relevant master plan on passive telecommunications infrastructure and economical and technical feasibility;

c/ To recover and dismantle telecommunications facilities under their ownership or management that show signs of danger, failing to meet operation and use safety requirements in accordance with the construction law;

d/ To lay telecommunications cables underground and embellish them.

5. The Government shall detail Points h, k and m, Clause 2; and Point d, Clause 4, of this Article.

Article 14. Rights and obligations of telecommunications service agents

1. Telecommunications service agents have the following rights:

a/ To establish terminal equipment systems in locations used for provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications service users as agreed upon in telecommunications service agency contracts;

b/ To provide or resell telecommunications services in accordance with this Law;

c/ To request telecommunications enterprises signing telecommunications service agency contracts to provide guidance and information on telecommunications services;

d/ To stop the provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications service users that violate the law on telecommunications;

dd/ Other rights provided in the Commercial Law and other relevant laws.

2. Telecommunications service agents have the following obligations:

a/ To implement regulations on assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety and information security;

b/ To provide telecommunications services according to service quality and charge rates stated in telecommunications service agency contracts;

c/ To submit to inspection and control of the performance of telecommunications service agency contracts by contracting telecommunications enterprises;

d/ To comply with the regulations on time for provision of telecommunications services;

dd/ Other obligations specified in the Commercial Law and other relevant laws.

Article 15. Rights and obligations of telecommunications service users and telecommunications subscribers

1. Telecommunications service users have the following rights:

a/ To select telecommunications enterprises or telecommunications service agents for entering into telecommunications service provision and use contracts;

b/ To request telecommunications enterprises and telecommunications service agents to provide necessary information related to the use of telecommunications services;

c/ To use telecommunications services according to service quality and charge rates in telecommunications service provision and use contracts;

d/ To refuse to use part or the whole of telecommunications services under telecommunications service provision and use contracts;

dd/ To have their private information kept confidential in accordance with law;

e/ To file complaints about service charge rates and quality; to have paid service use charge amounts refunded and be compensated for other damage directly caused by the fault of telecommunications enterprises or telecommunications service agents.

2. Telecommunications service users have the following obligations:

a/ To make full and timely payment of telecommunications service charge amounts;

b/ To pay compensation for damage directly caused by their fault to telecommunications enterprises or telecommunications service agents;

c/ To take responsibility before law for information they send and store on telecommunications networks;

d/ To refrain from using telecommunications infrastructure of telecommunications enterprises for commercial provision of telecommunications services.

3. Telecommunications subscribers have the following rights:

a/ The rights provided in Clause 1 of this Article;

b/ To design and install or hire other organizations or individuals to design and install terminal equipment and local area networks within the locations they use to the endpoints of public telecommunications networks.

4. Telecommunications subscribers have the following obligations:

a/ The obligations specified in Clause 2 of this Article;

b/ To implement regulations on management of telecommunications resources and telecommunications standards and technical regulations;

c/ To provide adequate and accurate information on telecommunications subscribers to telecommunications enterprises upon entry into telecommunications service provision and use contracts;

d/ To refrain from using information on their personal identification papers to enter into telecommunications service provision and use contracts on others’ behalf, unless they are permitted to do so in accordance with the law on telecommunications;

dd/ To take responsibility before law for the use of telecommunications subscriber numbers under contracts they have entered into with telecommunications enterprises;

e/ To protect their passwords, cryptographic keys and terminal equipment.

Article 16. Telecommunications wholesale

1. Telecommunications wholesale means a telecommunications enterprise leasing its telecommunications network or selling its telecommunications traffic or services to another telecommunications enterprise for provision of telecommunications services.

2. Telecommunications wholesaling must comply with the following provisions:

a/ To ensure the provision of services at/with fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory charge rates and relevant conditions;

b/ To ensure transparency of information on telecommunications charge rates, standards and technical regulations and quality of telecommunications networks and services.

3. The Minister of Information and Communications shall provide in detail telecommunications wholesaling.

Article 17. Telecommunications enterprises and groups of telecommunications enterprises with market dominance

1. The Government shall specify criteria for determining a State-managed telecommunications service market, and criteria for identifying telecommunications enterprises and groups of telecommunications enterprises with market dominance, for State-managed telecommunications service markets.

2. Pursuant to Clause 1 of this Article, the Minister of Information and Communications shall promulgate a list of State-managed telecommunications service markets and a list of telecommunications enterprises and groups of telecommunications enterprises with market dominance, for State-managed telecommunications service markets.

3. In addition to the obligations specified in Clauses 2 and 4, Article 13 of this Law, telecommunications enterprises and groups of telecommunications enterprises with market dominance also have the following obligations for the telecommunications service market which they are identified as dominating:

a/ To carry out telecommunications wholesale when requested by other telecommunications enterprises under Article 16 of this Law;

b/ To carry out accounting of expenses and determine costs of telecommunications services they provide;

c/ To refrain from providing telecommunications services at charge rates lower than their costs, except cases of sales promotion as specified by law;

d/ To formulate a model agreement for carrying out telecommunications wholesale under the Minister of Information and Communications’ regulations.

Section 2

ESTABLISHMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORKS AND PROVISION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

Article 18. Terminal equipment and local area networks

1. The installation and connection of terminal equipment and local area networks of telecommunications subscribers to public telecommunications networks must comply with this Law’s provisions on management of telecommunications resources and telecommunications standards and technical regulations.

2. The connection of terminal equipment and local area networks of telecommunications subscribers to public telecommunications networks shall be carried out by telecommunications enterprises under telecommunications service provision and use contracts.

Article 19. Establishment of telecommunications networks

1. Telecommunications networks shall be established and developed under telecommunications strategies, master plans, standards and technical regulations approved or promulgated by competent state agencies.

2. Organizations wishing to establish telecommunications networks shall obtain licenses for provision of telecommunications services based on network infrastructure specified at Point a, Clause 2, Article 33 of this Law or licenses for establishment of telecommunications networks specified at Points b and d, Clause 3, Article 33 of this Law.

3. The Prime Minister shall provide the establishment and operation of private telecommunications networks serving Party and State agencies.

4. The Minister of National Defense and Minister of Public Security shall provide the establishment and operation of private telecommunications networks serving national defense, security and cipher purposes.

5. Except the cases specified in Clauses 3 and 4 of this Article, organizations wishing to establish private telecommunications networks in the following cases shall obtain licenses for establishment of private telecommunications networks:

a/ Private telecommunications networks with wireline transmission lines built by the organizations;

b/ Private telecommunications networks whose members are Vietnamese organizations and individuals or foreign organizations and individuals operating in Vietnam that have the same operation purposes and characteristics and are linked together by the organization and operation charters or in other forms;

c/ Private radio telecommunications networks for organizations entitled to privileges and immunities for diplomatic missions, consular offices and representative offices of international organizations in Vietnam;

d/ Other private telecommunications networks.

6. The Government shall provide in detail the establishment of telecommunications networks specified in Clauses 2 and 5 of this Article.

Article 20. Provision of telecommunications services

1. Telecommunications service providers shall obtain licenses for commercial provision of telecommunications services or register and notify the provision of telecommunications services, except the cases specified in Article 42 of this Law.

2. The provision of telecommunications application services must comply with this Law’s provisions on connection and management of telecommunications resources, telecommunications standards and technical regulations and relevant legal provisions.

3. The provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications service users shall be carried out on the basis of telecommunications service provision and use contracts between telecommunications enterprises or telecommunications service agents and telecommunications service users.

4. Telecommunications enterprises providing services to telecommunications service users shall register contracts based on contract model and general trading conditions in accordance with the law on protection of consumer interests.

5. Vietnamese telecommunications enterprises providing telecommunications services abroad shall comply with Vietnam’s law, treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party and laws of the countries and territories where they provide services.

6. The Government shall provide in detail the classification of telecommunications services and provision of telecommunications services.

Article 21. Cross-border provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications service users in Vietnam’s territory

1. The cross-border provision of telecommunications services to telecommunications service users in Vietnam’s territory must comply with Vietnam’s law and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

2. With regard to the provision of telecommunications services under commitments in treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party, foreign institutions providing cross-border telecommunications services shall, in addition to abiding by their commitments, also meet requirements on national defense, security and public policies; and comply with Clause 6, Article 5; Article 6; and Points b and d, Clause 2, Article 13, of this Law, and the laws on cyberinformation security and cyber security.

3. Telecommunications enterprises entering into commercial agreements with foreign institutions providing cross-border telecommunications services to telecommunications service users in Vietnam’s territory shall formulate technical plans to ensure information security and urgently block or stop providing telecommunications services at the request of competent state agencies.

4. The Government shall detail Clauses 2 and 3 of this Article.

Article 22. Refusal to provide telecommunications services

1. A telecommunications enterprise or telecommunications service agent may not refuse to enter into a contract with a telecommunications service user, except the following cases:

a/ The telecommunications service user used to breach the telecommunications service provision and use contract entered into with the telecommunications enterprise;

b/ The provision of telecommunications services is not economically or technically feasible;

c/ The telecommunications enterprise used to reach agreement with another telecommunications enterprise on refusal to provide the telecommunications service user with post-paid telecommunications services due to the user’s shirking of the obligation to pay service charges;

d/ A competent state agency makes a written request for refusal of service provision in accordance with law.

2. A telecommunications enterprise may not unilaterally terminate a contract with a telecommunications service user, except the following cases:

a/ The telecommunications service user breaches the signed telecommunications service provision and use contract;

b/ The telecommunications subscriber violates the law on telecommunications. The Government shall detail this Point;

c/ A competent state agency makes a written request for contract termination in accordance with law.

Article 23. Cessation of commercial provision of telecommunications services

1. Telecommunications enterprises may cease commercial provision of part or the whole of telecommunications services if fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Having a plan to guarantee lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users under signed telecommunications service provision and use contracts and of related parties;

b/ Having notified the Ministry of Information and Communications of the cessation of commercial provision of telecommunications services.

2. Telecommunications enterprises holding essential devices, telecommunications enterprises or groups of telecommunications enterprises with market dominance, for the State-managed telecommunications service markets, and enterprises providing public-utility telecommunications services may cease the commercial provision of part or the whole of telecommunications services directly related to essential devices, telecommunications services that dominate the market or public-utility telecommunications services if satisfying the following conditions and obtaining the written approval from the Ministry of Information and Communications:

a/ Having a plan to guarantee lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users under signed telecommunications service provision and use contracts and of related parties;

b/ In case of ceasing the commercial provision of telecommunications services without terminating their operation, enterprises must ensure the provision of alternative telecommunications services to telecommunications service users, introduce corresponding telecommunications services of other telecommunications enterprises to service users or make agreements on payment of compensations to service users;

c/ In case of ceasing the commercial provision of telecommunications services due to operation termination, enterprises shall devise measures to ensure the continued provision of telecommunications services to users in the reorganization or bankruptcy/dissolution plan.

3. In case an enterprise violates law and has to cease the commercial provision of telecommunications services at the request of a competent state agency, it shall formulate a plan to guarantee lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users under the signed telecommunications service provision and use contract and a plan on remediation of violations and report such in writing to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

4. The Government shall provide in detail conditions and procedures for cessation of commercial provision of part or the whole of telecommunications services.

Article 24. Operational communication

1. Telecommunications enterprises may use domestic and international communication methods via telecommunications networks that they are operating for management and operation activities and performance of technical and operational processes, and be exempt from service charges.

2. Telecommunications enterprises shall specify objects, scope and levels of use and promulgate regulations on management of internal operational communication.

Article 25. Emergency telecommunication services

1. Emergency telecommunication services means services of making calls to emergency telephone numbers of public security, firefighting and emergency forces.

2. Emergency telephone numbers shall be specified in the master plan on the telecommunications number storage and the provision of emergency telecommunications services must comply with the Minister of Information and Communications’ regulations.

3. Telecommunications enterprises shall:

a/ Notify emergency telephone numbers to telecommunications service users and have them published in the Public Telephone Directory;

b/ Ensure that emergency telephone numbers are accessible for telecommunications service users;

c/ Provide emergency telecommunications services free of charge to telephone service users.

Article 26. Fixed-line telephone subscriber lookup service

1. Public Telephone Directory means a collection of information on names, addresses and numbers of telecommunications subscribers and other relevant information of fixed-line telephone subscribers, which is kept in printed and electronic forms issued and managed by telecommunications enterprises.

2. Telecommunications enterprises may have subscriber information published in the Public Telephone Directory after obtaining the consent of telecommunications service users.

3. Fixed-line telephone subscriber lookup service means a service that helps telecommunications service users look up fixed-line telephone subscribers using the Public Telephone Directory.

4. Telecommunications enterprises shall provide fixed-line telephone service users with electronic copies of the Public Telephone Directory specified in Clause 1 of this Article free of charge.

Article 27. Telecommunications outage reporting service

1. Telecommunications outage reporting service means a service that enables users to notify abnormal operation of telecommunications services managed by telecommunications enterprises and request troubleshooting.

2. Telecommunications enterprises shall provide free of charge the telecommunications outage reporting service to, and ensure that it is accessible for, telecommunications service users.

Section 3

PROVISION OF BASIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ON THE INTERNET, DATA CENTER SERVICES AND CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES

Article 28. Provision of basic telecommunications services on the Internet

1. Enterprises providing basic telecommunications services on the Internet have the following rights:

a/ To invest in the commercial provision of basic telecommunications services on the Internet without being subject to any cap on shareholding rate and contributed capital amount or holding rate of foreign investors entering into business cooperation contracts;

b/ The rights provided at Points a, b, dd, e and g, Clause 1, Article 13; Clause 3, Article 40; and Clause 2, Article 62, of this Law.

2. Enterprises providing basic telecommunications services on the Internet have the following obligations:

a/ To register and notify the provision of telecommunications services under Article 41 of this Law;

b/ To comply with Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, Article 5; Articles 6 and 9; Points b, c, d, g, l and n, Clause 2, Article 13; Clauses 1, 3 and 4, Article 20; Article 22; Clauses 1 and 3, Article 23; and Clause 2, Article 40, of this Law;

c/ To comply with Article 58; Clause 3, Article 59; Article 60; and Clauses 1 and 3, Article 62, of this Law in case of providing charged services to users;

d/ To store and manage information provided by service users upon entry into telecommunications service provision and use contracts under the Government’s regulations;

dd/ When it is necessary to access features on terminal equipment of service users for service provision, to notify users of the necessity of, and obtain their consent before making, the access;

e/ To declare the quality of services they provide if they own network infrastructure or have reached agreement with telecommunications enterprises having network infrastructure; to declare the quality of services they provide, depending on the quality of telecommunications networks and telecommunications services managed and provided by other telecommunications enterprises if they neither own network infrastructure nor have reached agreement with telecommunications enterprises having network infrastructure.

3. The Government shall provide in detail the rights and obligations of foreign institutions providing cross-border basic telecommunications services on the Internet to service users in Vietnam’s territory on the principles of respect for independence and sovereignty, equality and assurance of information security, and common commitments in treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

Article 29. Provision and use of data center services and cloud computing services

1. Enterprises providing data center services and cloud computing services have the following rights:

a/ To invest in the commercial provision of data center services and cloud computing services without being subject to any cap on shareholding rate and contributed capital amounts or holding rate of foreign investors entering into business cooperation contracts;

b/ The rights provided at Points a, b, dd, e and g, Clause 1, Article 13; Clause 3, Article 40; Clause 2, Article 62; and Clause 2, Article 64, of this Law;

c/ Not to be held responsible for information on service users in the course of information processing, storage and retrieval, unless it is provided by other laws.

2. Enterprises providing data center services and cloud computing services have the following obligations:

a/ To register and notify the provision of telecommunications services under Article 41 of this Law;

b/ To comply with the laws on cyberinformation security, cyber security and personal data protection, and other relevant laws;

c/ To comply with Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, Article 5; Article 6; Clause 3, Articles 8 and 9; Points b, c, d and n, Clause 2, Article 13; Clauses 1, 3 and 4, Article 20; Article 22; Clauses 1 and 3, Article 23; Clause 2, Article 40; Clause 3, Article 55; Article 58; Clause 3, Article 59; Article 60; and Clauses 1 and 3, Article 62, of this Law;

d/ To ensure that telecommunications enterprises can connect and provide services to data center service users;

dd/ To refrain from accessing, exploiting and using service users’ data processed, stored and retrieved through their services before obtaining the users’ consent;

e/ To promptly take necessary measures to block access to information at the request of competent state agencies in accordance with law;

g/ To refrain from monitoring and supervising information on service users, unless it is requested by competent state agencies in accordance with law;

h/ To store and manage information provided by service users upon entry into telecommunications service provision and use contracts under the Government’s regulations;

i/ To declare the quality of services they provide.

3. Before commissioning a data center for commercial provision of data center services or cloud computing services to the public, a telecommunications enterprise shall declare the conformity of the data center with relevant standards and technical regulations promulgated by the Minister of Information and Communications.

4. The use of data center services and cloud computing services by enterprises in sectors and domains must comply with this Law and other relevant laws.

5. The Government shall provide in detail:

a/ The rights and obligations of foreign institutions providing cross-border data center services and cloud computing services to service users in Vietnam’s territory on the principles of respect for independence and sovereignty, equality, and assurance of information security, and common commitments in treaties to which the Socialist Republic Vietnam is a contracting party;

b/ The provision and use of data center services and cloud computing services in the operation of state agencies.

 

Chapter III

PUBLIC-UTILITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Article 30. Public-utility telecommunications activities

1. Public-utility telecommunications activities means activities supporting the provision and use of public-utility telecommunications services and terminal equipment to contribute to socio-economic development.

2. Public-utility telecommunications services include:

a/ Universal telecommunications services, which means telecommunications services provided to every resident based on the State-prescribed service list, geographical areas, zones, conditions, quality and charge rates;

b/ Mandatory telecommunications services, which means telecommunications services provided upon the State’s request in order to assure information and communication in cases of emergency specified by law.

3. Public-utility telecommunications activities shall be carried out in adherence to the following principles:

a/ Universalization of telecommunications services, with priority given to border, mountainous, highland, river sandbar and coastal areas, islands, areas inhabited by ethnic minority people, areas meeting with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, and areas where it is hard to conduct profitable business activities under the market mechanism. 

b/ Assurance of equal and rational access to services for every resident; prioritized provision of public-utility telecommunications services and terminal equipment for poor households, households living just above the poverty line, social policy beneficiary families and other special policy beneficiaries as decided by the Prime Minister.

4. The financial source for public-utility telecommunications activities comes from the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund.

Article 31. The Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund

1. The Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund is an off-budget state financial fund managed by the Ministry of Information and Communications for the implementation of the State’s policies on public-utility telecommunications activities.

2. The Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund operates in adherence to the following principle:

a/ Operating for not-for-profit purposes, in a transparent and proper manner, and in accordance with this Law and relevant regulations;

b/ Carrying out collection, spending, accounting, book-keeping, account finalization, and financial and asset publicization in accordance with law;

c/ Ensuring the balance between collection plans and spending tasks and the progress of fund disbursement for public-utility telecommunications activities;

d/ Submitting to examination, inspection and auditing of its operations by competent state agencies.

3. The Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund shall be used for the following purposes:

a/ Supporting the provision of public-utility telecommunications services in order to make up for expenses for telecommunications enterprises to develop, upgrade and maintain their telecommunications infrastructure facilities in border, mountainous, highland, river sandbar and coastal areas, islands, areas inhabited by ethnic minority people, areas meeting with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, and areas where it is hard to conduct profitable business activities under the market mechanism, in combination with the protection of land border areas and national sovereignty in maritime zones and islands;

b/ Providing support for the use of public-utility telecommunications services;

c/ Providing support for the supply of terminal equipment;

d/ Paying expenses for the management of public-utility telecommunications activities as assigned;

dd/ Paying expenses for the operation of its own apparatus.

4. The Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund is raised from the following sources:

a/ Contributions in proportion to turnover from telecommunications services of telecommunications enterprises;

b/ Other lawful financial sources other than state budget funds.

5. The Prime Minister shall decide on the founding of the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund, and promulgate regulations on organization, operation, funding sources and the use thereof for operation of its apparatus.

Article 32. Management of public-utility telecommunications activities

1. Public-utility telecommunications activities shall be carried out as follows:

a/ Providing support for telecommunications enterprises to provide public-utility telecommunications services by the method of task assignment, order placement or bidding;

b/ Providing support for the use of public-utility telecommunications services to support-eligible subjects through telecommunications enterprises by the method of task assignment, order placement or direct assistance for telecommunications service users;

c/ Providing support for the supply of terminal equipment in cash or in kind to support-eligible subjects through telecommunications enterprises by the method of task assignment, order placement or direct assistance for such subjects.

2. The Government shall provide in detail Clause 1 of this Article and the financial mechanism for performance of public-utility telecommunications activities, covering the maximum contribution level, subjects entitled to exemption from or reduction of contributions to the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund; the management and use of the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund for public-utility telecommunications activities; and the time limit for providing support for the provision and use of public-utility telecommunications services in a stable and continuous manner under public-utility telecommunications service provision programs.

3. The Prime Minister shall decide on public-utility telecommunications service provision programs in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure and the socio-economic development situation in each period, covering the list of public-utility telecommunications services, geographical areas and subjects eligible for support in terms of public-utility telecommunications services, method of performance of public-utility telecommunications activities, contribution levels of telecommunications enterprises to the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunications Service Fund, and solutions to implement such programs.

4. The Ministry of Information and Communications shall:

a/ Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, related ministries and sectors and provincial-level People’s Committees in, formulating and submitting public-utility telecommunications service provision programs to the Prime Minister for decision;

b/ Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment and related agencies in, guiding the implementation of public-utility telecommunications service provision programs;

c/ Promulgate public-utility telecommunications service charge rates under Article 59 of this Law;

d/ Organize, manage and inspect the performance of public-utility telecommunications activities.

5. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall:

a/ Coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications in proposing geographical areas eligible for support in terms of provision of public-utility telecommunications services and the list of support-eligible subjects in using public-utility telecommunications services and terminal equipment in their localities;

b/ Organize the implementation of public-utility telecommunications service provision programs according to their assigned tasks;

c/ Coordinate with related agencies in inspecting the performance of public-utility telecommunications activities in their localities.

 

Chapter IV

TELECOMMUNICATIONS LICENSES

Article 33. Telecommunications licenses     

1. Telecommunications licenses include licenses for commercial provision of telecommunications services and licenses for telecommunications operations.

2. Licenses for commercial provision of telecommunications services include:

a/ Licenses for provision of telecommunications services based on network infrastructure, which are valid for up to 15 years and granted to service providers with network infrastructure;

b/ Licenses for provision of telecommunications services not based on network infrastructure, which are valid for up to 10 years and granted to service providers without network infrastructure.

3. Licenses for telecommunications operations include:

a/ Licenses for installation of submarine telecommunications cables, which are valid for up to 25 years and granted to organizations that install submarine telecommunications cables ashore or across the maritime zones of Vietnam;

b/ Licenses for establishment of private telecommunications networks, which are valid for up to 10 years and granted to organizations that establish private telecommunications networks;

c/ Licenses for testing of telecommunications networks and services, which are valid for up to 2 years and granted to organizations that test telecommunications networks and services;

d/ Licenses for establishment of telecommunications networks, which are valid for up to 10 years and granted to the government-attached national radios and national televisions for performing the functions of providing and disseminating information about the Party’s line and policies and the State’s policies and laws not for profit purposes.

4. The Minister of Information and Communications shall grant, extend, re-grant, modify, supplement or revoke telecommunications licenses and request the termination of the provision of telecommunications services.

5. The Government shall specify conditions and procedures for grant, extension, re-grant, modification, supplementation and revocation of telecommunications licenses of all kinds and compel the termination of the provision of telecommunications services.

Article 34. Principles of grant of telecommunications licenses

1. Telecommunications licenses shall be granted under the master plan on information and communications infrastructure.

2. Telecommunications licenses shall be granted first of all to projects which can be rapidly implemented in reality and involve commitments to provide long-term services to telecommunications service users; and projects on provision of telecommunications services to border, mountainous, highland, river sandbar and coastal areas, islands, areas inhabited by ethnic minority people, and areas meeting with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions.

3. In case the grant of telecommunications licenses involves the use of telecommunications resources, these licenses shall be granted only if the allocation of telecommunications resources is feasible and in line with the approved master plans on radio frequency, telecommunications number storage and Internet resources and ensures the efficient use of telecommunications resources.

Article 35. Forms of telecommunications licensing

1. Private licensing means a form of telecommunications licensing on the basis of setting out exclusive conditions and obligations for enterprises in the following cases:

a/ Licenses for provision of telecommunications services based on network infrastructure and using radio frequencies, granted through auctions or contests for selection of the radio frequency use right, or re-granted frequency band use permits;

b/ Licenses for provision of telecommunications services based on network infrastructure, granted for areas subject to special requirements specified by the Government.

2. Group-based licensing means a form of telecommunications licensing carried out on the basis of satisfaction of general conditions and obligations specified for organizations and enterprises in the following cases:

a/ Licenses for provision of telecommunications services based on network infrastructure, except the case specified in Clause 1 of this Article;

b/ License for provision of telecommunications services not based on network infrastructure, except the cases of service provision subject to procedures for registration and notification of telecommunications service provision specified in Clauses 1 and 2, Article 41 of this Law;

c/ Licenses for telecommunications operations.

Article 36. Conditions for grant of licenses for commercial provision of telecommunications services

1. An enterprise may be granted a telecommunications license specified at Point a, Clause 1, Article 35 of this Law when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Possessing an enterprise registration certificate or investment registration certificate;

b/ Having the minimum charter capital specified by the Government;

c/ Not currently undergoing dissolution or bankruptcy under a competent state agency’s decision;

d/ Having technical plans and business plans in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure and in compliance with this Law’s provisions on telecommunications resources, connection, service charge rates, standards and technical regulations, and quality of telecommunications services, thus ensuring telecommunications infrastructure safety and lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users, and other relevant regulations;

dd/ Making a commitment to installing a telecommunications network for radio frequency bands and channels licensed to it through an auction or a contest, or for re-licensed frequency bands;

e/ Having won an auction or a contest for selection of the radio frequency use right or satisfying conditions for having its frequency band use permit re-granted.

2. An enterprise may be granted a telecommunications license specified at Point a, Clause 2, Article 35 of this Law when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ The conditions specified at Points a, b, c and d, Clause 1 of this Article;

b/ The Government-specified conditions for installation of a telecommunications network.

3. An enterprise may be granted a telecommunications license specified at Point b, Clause 2, Article 35 of this Law when fully satisfying the conditions specified at Points a, c and d, Clause 1 of this Article.

Article 37. Conditions on telecommunications for participation  in auctions or contests for selection of the radio frequency use right 

Enterprises that satisfy the conditions specified at Points a, b, c, d and dd, Clause 1, Article 36 of this Law and have fulfilled the telecommunications-related financial obligations specified by law shall be regarded as fully satisfying conditions on telecommunications for participation in auctions or contests for selection of the radio frequency use right.

Article 38. Conditions for grant of licenses for telecommunications operations 

1. A Vietnamese or foreign organization may be granted a license for installation of submarine telecommunications cables when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Committing to complying with Vietnam’s law;

b/ Committing to refraining from causing pollution of the marine environment;

c/ Committing to refraining from performing activities other than survey, installation, maintenance, repair and recall of telecommunications cable lines;

d/ Having schemes on installation of submarine telecommunications cables in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure and in compliance with the laws on national defense, security and environmental protection and other relevant regulations;

dd/ Committing to submitting to inspection, control and instruction by competent state agencies upon carrying out survey, installation, maintenance, repair or recall of cable lines in the maritime zones of Vietnam and bear all expenses for inspection, control or instruction activities.

2. An organization may be granted a license for establishment of a private telecommunications network when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Committing to establishing a private telecommunications network only for the purpose of providing services to the network members but not for profit purposes;

b/ Having technical and operational plans in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure and in compliance with this Law’s provisions on telecommunications resources, connection, and standards and technical regulations;

c/ Devising measures to assure telecommunications infrastructure safety and cyberinformation security and cybersecurity.

3. A telecommunications enterprise may be granted a license for testing of telecommunications networks and services when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Services requested to be tested are telecommunications services not stated in the granted telecommunications license or telecommunications services using telecommunications resources other than those already allocated;

b/ The testing scope and scale is limited to evaluate technology and market before official commencement of business operation;

c/ The testing plan is conformable with regulations on telecommunications connection, service charge rates, standards and technical regulations.

4. An organization may be granted a license for establishment of a telecommunications network specified at Point d, Clause 3, Article 33 of this Law when fully satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Committing to establishing a telecommunications network only to provide not-for-profit services;

b/ Having a technical plan in compliance with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure, this Law’s provisions on telecommunications resources, connection, standards and technical regulations, service quality, assurance of telecommunications infrastructure safety, and lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users, and other relevant regulations.

Article 39. Extension, re-grant, modification and supplementation of telecommunications licenses

1. Before a telecommunications license expires, the license holder may request extension or re-grant of a telecommunications license. Within the validity period of a license, its holder shall carry out procedures for requesting its modification or supplementation upon the occurrence of a change in its contents.

2. The extension of a telecommunications license shall be considered in adherence to the following principles:

a/ Its holder has complied with the license’s contents and the telecommunications law’s provisions;

b/ The total duration of the license’s validity period and its extensions does not exceed the maximum validity duration specified for such type of license. In case the validity period of a license is equal to the maximum validity duration specified for such type of license, when the license expires, it may only be considered for extension of up to 1 year. The Government shall provide in detail cases eligible for licenses extension when granted licenses’ validity period is equal to the law-specified maximum validity duration.

3. The re-grant of a telecommunications license to its holder shall be carried out when the conditions specified in Articles 36 and 38 of this Law are satisfied, taking  into account the license holder’s compliance with the license’s contents and benefits of telecommunications service users.

4. The modification or supplementation of a telecommunications license within its validity period shall be carried out as follows:

a/ Upon a request of its holder or of the Ministry of Information and Communications;

b/ Based on the licensing conditions specified in Articles 36 and 38 of this Law in relevance to the contents requested to be modified or supplemented.

Article 40. Revocation of telecommunications licenses, forcible termination of the provision of telecommunications services

1. An organization or enterprise will have its telecommunications license revoked if falling into one of the following cases:

a/ It has committed an act specified in Clause 1, Article 9 of this Law;

b/ It has committed a fraudulent act or provided untruthful information to obtain a telecommunications license;

c/ It has operated at variance with the license’s contents, causing serious consequences to lawful rights and interests of other organizations and individuals;

d/ It has failed to fully realize in reality its commitment to installing a telecommunications network or to provide telecommunications to the market within 2 years after being granted the license, except force majeure events or the case specified at Point g of this Clause;

dd/ It has ceased the commercial provision of telecommunications services under the license for 1 full year without notifying such to the Ministry of Information and Communications;

e/ It voluntarily returns the license for commercial provision of telecommunications services;

g/ It has all radio frequency resources allocated under the license for commercial provision of telecommunication services recovered under Point a, Clause 1, Article 35 of this Law for the reason that it fails to modify or supplement or request the re-grant
of the license for commercial provision of telecommunications services within 12 months after its radio frequency use right is revoked;

h/ It fails to fully pay the telecommunications operation right charge within 12 months after the charge payment deadline specified by the law on charges and fees according to a notice of the agency that has granted the telecommunications license.

2. An enterprise that provides telecommunications services by the mode of service provision registration or notification specified in Article 41 of this Law shall terminate the provision of telecommunications services if falling into one of the following cases:

a/ It has committed an act specified in Clause 1, Article 9 of this Law;

b/ It falls into the case specified at Point h, Clause 1 of this Article;

c/ It fails to satisfy the conditions for provision of telecommunications services, for services provided by the mode of registration;

d/ It has ceased the commercial provision of telecommunications services for full 1 year without notifying such to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

3. Within 1 year after having its license revoked or being forced to terminate its operation, an organization or enterprise falling into the case specified at Point b, c, d, dd, e, g or h, Clause 1, or Point b, c or d, Clause 2, of this Article may submit a dossier of application for a telecommunications license or a dossier of request for telecommunications service provision registration or notification.

4. An organization or enterprise that has its license revoked in the case specified at Point a, Clause 1 of this Article or is forced to terminate the provision of telecommunications services in the case specified at Point a, Clause 2 of this Article may not be considered for grant of a telecommunications license or provision of telecommunications services, for the services specified in Article 41 of this Law.

Article 41. Telecommunications service provision registration or notification

1. Telecommunications service provision registration means an enterprise declaring information about itself, type of telecommunications services to be provided, and its satisfaction of telecommunications service provision conditions specified by the Government.

2. Telecommunications service provision notification means an enterprise declaring information about itself, type of telecommunications services to be provided, and information related to the quality of services it provides.

3. The Government shall provide in detail a list of telecommunications services subject to telecommunications service provision registration or notification; and specify telecommunications service provision conditions for the mode of telecommunications service provision registration, and procedures for telecommunications service provision registration and notification.

Article 42. Exemption from telecommunications licenses, telecommunications service provision registration and notification

Organizations and individuals engaged in telecommunications activities are exempt from telecommunications licenses and telecommunications service provision registration and notification in the following cases:

1. They trade in telecommunications commodities;

2. They provide telecommunications services in the capacity as telecommunications service agents;

3. They rent transmission lines for provision of telecommunications application services;

4. They operate private telecommunications networks whose members are of the same organization and do not establish telecommunications transmissions lines on their own.

Article 43. Charge for the telecommunications operation right

1. Charge for the telecommunications operation right is a sum of money payable by an organization or enterprise engaged in telecommunications activities to the State to be entitled to establish a telecommunications network or provide telecommunications services. This charge shall be determined on the basis of scope and size of a telecommunications network and turnover from telecommunications services; volume and value of allocated telecommunications resources; and level of use of spaces, ground surfaces, underground spaces, river beds and sea beds for establishing the telecommunications network or building telecommunications facilities.

2. Organizations and enterprises shall pay the charge for the telecommunications operation right by either of the following modes:

a/ Making annual payment in a fixed amount;

b/ Making lump-sum payment in a fixed amount for the whole validity period of a telecommunications license.

 

Chapter V

CONNECTION AND SHARING OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

Article 44. Telecommunications connection principles

1. Telecommunications enterprises may connect their telecommunications networks to telecommunications networks and services of other telecommunications enterprises and are obliged to let other telecommunications enterprises be connected to their telecommunications networks and services.

2. The connection of telecommunications networks and services shall be carried out in adherence to the following principles:

a/ Connection based on negotiations to ensure equality, rationality and rights and interests of involved parties;

b/ Efficient use of telecommunications resources and infrastructure;

c/ Satisfaction of technical requirements on telecommunications connection and safety and uniformity of telecommunications networks;

d/ Assurance of lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users and related organizations and individuals.

Article 45. Connection to public telecommunications networks

1. Upon connection to public telecommunications networks, service providers with network infrastructure shall:

a/ Provide connection at any point which is technically feasible on public telecommunications networks;

b/ Ensure timely, rational, public and transparent connection;

c/ Refrain from practicing discriminatory treatment in terms of service charge rates, telecommunications standards and technical regulations, and telecommunications network and service quality.

2. Upon connection to public telecommunications networks, telecommunications enterprises possessing essential devices shall:

a/ Create favorable conditions for other telecommunications enterprises in negotiation on and performance of connection;

b/ Formulate, register with the specialized management agency in charge of telecommunications, and publicize model connection agreements;

c/ Comply with Clause 1 of this Article.

3. Telecommunications connection service charge rates shall be set on the basis of costs, rationally divided according to network components or service stages, regardless of service types.

4. The Minister of Information and Communications shall set criteria for determination of, and announce, the list of telecommunications enterprises possessing essential devices in each period; and provide the connection of public telecommunications networks, and negotiation and settlement of connection-related disputes between telecommunications enterprises.

Article 46. Connection of private telecommunications networks

1. Private telecommunications networks may be connected to public telecommunications networks if satisfying standards and technical regulations of such public telecommunications networks and complying with this Law’s provisions on connection to public telecommunications networks.

2. The connection of private telecommunications networks to public ones shall be carried out under connection contracts between telecommunications enterprises and organizations having private telecommunications networks.

3. Private telecommunications networks may not be directly interconnected, unless such interconnection is approved in writing by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Article 47. Sharing of telecommunications infrastructure

1. Sharing of telecommunications infrastructure means the common use of part of a telecommunications network, facility or equipment in the following cases:

a/ Telecommunications infrastructure is shared between telecommunications enterprises in order to ensure the establishment of a telecommunications network and provision of telecommunications services in an efficient, convenient and quick manner or satisfy requirements on landscape and environmental protection and comply with relevant master plans; or to serve public-utility telecommunications activities, search, rescue and salvage, prevention and control of disasters, fires and other catastrophes, and epidemic prevention and control;

b/ Telecommunications infrastructure is shared between telecommunications enterprises and agencies/organizations that directly serve national defense and security in order to meet requirements of the performance of national defense and security tasks, search, rescue and salvage, prevention and control of disasters, fires and other catastrophes, and epidemic prevention and control.

2. The sharing of telecommunications infrastructure shall be carried out under contracts on the basis of guaranteeing lawful rights and interests of related parties.

3. In case parties cannot reach agreement on prices for sharing of telecommunications infrastructure, negotiation shall be held in accordance with the law on price.

In case parties cannot reach agreement on other contents related to the sharing of telecommunications infrastructure, a competent state agency shall decide thereon.

4. The Government shall provide in detail the sharing of telecommunications infrastructure.

Chapter VI

TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESOURCES

Article 48. Management of telecommunications resources                  

1. Management of telecommunications resources covers planning on, and distribution, allocation, registration, fixing and use of, telecommunications resources, transfer or withdrawal of the right to use telecommunications resources, return of telecommunications resources; and settlement of disputes over the registration and use of Vietnam’s national domain name “.vn”.

2. The management of radio frequencies and satellite orbits in telecommunications activities must comply with this Law and the law on radio frequencies.

3. The management of telecommunications resources must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Being in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure;

b/ Optimizing the establishment of telecommunications networks and the provision of telecommunications services;

c/ Guaranteeing fairness, publicity and transparency in the allocation and distribution of telecommunications resources;

d/ Ensuring efficient, economical and proper use of telecommunications resources;

dd/ Guaranteeing lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals that are allocated telecommunications resources and telecommunications service users.

4. The Government shall provide in detail the management of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources; the payment of compensation for telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources recovered by the State; and conditions for operation and rights and obligations of organizations and enterprises providing domain name registration and maintenance services.

Article 49. Planning of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources

1. The planning of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Being in line with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure;

b/ Facilitating the application of new technologies as suitable to the trend of technology and service convergence and new-generation telecommunications and Internet development trend;

c/ Optimizing the establishment of networks and the provision of telecommunications services;

d/ Ensuring the efficient, economical and proper use of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources;

dd/ Ensuring the availability of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources to serve public interests and national defense and security;

e/ Being compliant with regulations on the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources of international organizations of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member;

g/ Guaranteeing lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals using telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources.

2. The Minister of Information and Communications shall specify contents and procedures for approval of master plans on the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources and approve them.

Article 50. Distribution, allocation, use, registration and return of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources

1. The distribution, allocation, registration and use of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources must adhere to the following principles: 

a/ Being in line with the master plans on the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources;

b/ Ensuring fairness, publicity and transparency;

c/ Ensuring efficient, economic and proper use of distributed and allocated telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources;

d/ Prioritizing the distribution and allocation of Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources for providing telecommunications services and telecommunications application services in border, mountainous, highland, river sandbar and coastal areas, islands, areas inhabited by ethnic minority people and areas meeting with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions; or for serving public-utility telecommunications activities and other public interests;

dd/ Prioritizing the distribution and allocation of Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources to organizations capable of applying new and advanced technologies, satisfying requirements of technology and service convergence.

2. The distribution of telecommunications codes and numbers shall be carried out by one of the following modes:

a/ Auction of the right to use telecommunications codes and numbers for land mobile networks for the human-to-human communication (below referred to as H2H mobile network codes), telecommunications subscriber numbers for land mobile services by the H2H communication approach (below referred to as H2H mobile subscriber numbers), and short-message service and response service numbers;

b/ Direct distribution, for the telecommunications codes and numbers specified at Point dd, Clause 1, Article 49 of this Law and telecommunications codes and numbers other than those specified at Point a of this Clause. The direct distribution must adhere to the first come, first served principle.

3. The distribution and allocation of Vietnam Internet resources shall be carried out by one of the following modes:

a/ Auction of the use right, for Vietnam’s level-2 national domain names “.vn” which consist of 1 character or 2 characters each, except protected and shared domain names specified by the Minister of Information and Communications;

b/ Direct allocation, for Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn”, except domain names for which the use right is allocated through auction under Point a of this Clause; and Internet addresses and autonomous system numbers, to organizations and individuals for use. The direct allocation must adhere to the first come, first served principle;

c/ Direct distribution, for Internet addresses and autonomous system numbers, to enterprises for provision of telecommunications services on the first come, first served principle.

4. The auction of the right to use telecommunications codes and numbers shall be carried out as follows:

a/ Telecommunications codes and numbers specified at Point a, Clause 2 of this Article shall be posted up on the online market for organizations and individuals to select for auction;

b/ In case the law-specified duration for posting telecommunications codes and numbers on the online market expires while no organization or individual has selected a code or number for auction, telecommunications codes and numbers shall be distributed sequentially and directly to requesting organizations and individuals under Point b, Clause 2 of this Article;

c/ The reserve price for auction of an H2H mobile subscriber number shall be determined to be equal to the per-capita GDP at current prices of the year preceding the year of auction as announced by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam for 1 day;

d/ The reserve price for auction of an H2H mobile network code, a short-message service number or response service number shall be determined to be equal to 1 year’s service charge of such code or number. In case of auction of an H2H mobile network code, a short-message service number or response service number other than those specified at Point a of this Clause at the request of an organization or enterprise, the reserve price is equal to 5 years’ service charge of such code or number;

dd/ The Ministry of Information and Communications shall approve results of the auction of telecommunications codes and numbers. Telecommunications service providers shall carry out procedures for auction winners to use telecommunications services associated with the auction-winning subscriber numbers;

e/ After 2 times of unsuccessful auction, an H2H mobile network code, H2H mobile subscriber number, short-message service number or response service number shall directly be distributed to an organization or enterprise specified at Point b, Clause 2 of this Article. Such organization or enterprise shall pay a sum of money for licensing the use right which is equal to 1 year’s service charge of such code or number and pay the telecommunications code and number use charge in accordance with the law on charges and fees.

5. The auction of the right to use Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn” shall be carried out as follows:

a/ The reserve price of a Vietnam’s national domain name “.vn” shall be determined to be equal to 1 year’s use maintenance charge for such domain name;

b/ The Ministry of Information and Communications shall approve results of the auction of the right to use Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn”. Organizations and individuals shall carry out procedures for registration for use of auction-winning domain names;

c/ After 2 times of unsuccessful auction, a Vietnam’s national domain name “.vn” shall be directly allocated under Point b, Clause 3 of this Article.

6. Forms, methods, order and procedures for auction of telecommunications codes and names and Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn” must comply with the law on property auction.

7. The receipt and processing of requests for registration and maintenance of Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn” of organizations and individuals shall be carried out by organizations and enterprises providing domain name registration and maintenance services.

8. Telecommunications enterprises that have their expired telecommunications licenses re-granted or extended may continue to exploit and use telecommunications codes and names distributed to them in accordance with this Law’s provisions on management and use of the telecommunications number storage.

9. Organizations and individuals that are distributed or allocated telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources have the following rights and responsibilities:

a/ To use, lease, transfer or sub-allocate telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources according to the purposes, scope and subjects stated in decisions on distribution or allocation of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources and regulations on management and use of the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources;

b/ To donate, give as gifts, contribute as capital or leave as inheritance Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn” in accordance with the civil law and other relevant regulations;

c/ To send to the Ministry of Information and Communications, on a periodical basis or upon request, reports on the use of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources;

d/ To pay the charge for use of telecommunications codes and numbers; the charge for maintenance of the use of Internet resources; the fee for distribution of the telecommunications number storage, distribution or allocation of Internet resources; the levy for licensing the right to use the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources distributed or allocated through auction. Winners of H2H mobile subscriber number auction are exempt from the charge for use of telecommunications codes and numbers;

dd/ To return the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources to the agency managing the telecommunications number storage and the unit managing Internet resources when no longer wishing to use them.

10. The Government shall detail Clauses 4 and 5 of this Article.

Article 51. Transfer of the right to use Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources

1. Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources eligible for transfer of the use right include:

a/ Telecommunications codes and numbers distributed by the Ministry of Information and Communications to organizations and individuals through auction under Point a, Clause 2, Article 50 of this Law;

b/ Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn”, except protected and shared domain names specified by the Minister of Information and Communications, domains names currently subject to violation handling or undergoing dispute or complaint settlement, and domain names currently suspended from use.

2. The right to use Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources may be transferred when the following conditions are fully satisfied:

a/ Organizations and individuals that wish to transfer the right to use Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources must prove their lawful right to use such telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources;

b/ Organizations and individuals that wish to acquire the right to use Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources must be those licensed for operation or qualified for investment in, exploitation and use of such telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources.

3. Transferors and transferees of the right to use Vietnam telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources shall:

a/ Pay charges, fees and taxes for the transfer in accordance with the laws on taxes, charges and fees;

b/ Guarantee lawful rights and interests of related organizations and individuals.

Article 52. Settlement of disputes over the registration and use of Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn”

1. Disputes over the registration and use of Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn” shall be settled through conciliation, arbitration or court in accordance with law.

2. Grounds for settlement of a dispute over the registration and use of a Vietnam’s national domain name “.vn”:

a/ The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the name, mark, geographical indication or trade name over which the plaintiff has the lawful rights and interests;

b/ Lawful rights and interests related to domain names of the disputing parties;

c/ The respondent has used the domain name mala fide or taken advantage of the prestige or reputation of the mark, trade name or geographical indication over which the plaintiff has the lawful rights and interests for the purpose of earning illicit profits.

3. When requesting the settlement of disputes over the registration and use of Vietnam’s national domain names “.vn”, plaintiffs shall provide evidences to prove the grounds specified in Clause 2 of this Article.

4. The Government shall detail Clause 2 of this Article.  

Article 53. Recovery of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources

1. Recovery of telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources means that a competent state agency decides to recover the right to use telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources already distributed or allocated to organizations and individuals.

2. Telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources shall be recovered in the following cases:

a/ Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources are recovered for use for public interests or national defense and security maintenance;

b/ The use purposes and eligible users of Vietnamese telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources are no longer in line with the master plans on the telecommunications number storage and Internet resources;

c/ Users fail to fully pay the fee for distribution of the telecommunications number storage or the charge for use of telecommunications codes and numbers within 6 months from the deadline for payment of such fee or charge specified in the law on charges and fees according to notices of the state management agency in charge of telecommunications;

d/ Users fail to fully pay the charge for maintenance of the use of Vietnamese Internet resources within 30 days from the deadline for payment of such charge according to notices of the unit managing Internet resources;

dd/ The competent state agency requests the recovery when telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources are used to commit the acts specified in Article 9 of this Law or other violations.

3. Organizations and individuals that have their telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources recovered under Clause 2 of this Article shall stop the use of such telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources under recovery decisions.

4. The State shall pay compensations to organizations and individuals that have their telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources recovered under Points a and b, Clause 2 of this Article under the following provisions:

a/ For telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources directly distributed or allocated , compensation amounts shall be determined on the basis of telecommunications code and number use charge rates or Internet resource use maintenance charge rates in accordance with the law on charges and fees;

b/ For telecommunications codes and numbers and Internet resources distributed or allocated through the auction of the use right, compensation amounts shall be determined to be equal to auction-winning amounts.

 

Chapter VII

MANAGEMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS STANDARDS, TECHNICAL REGULATIONS, QUALITY AND SERVICE CHARGE RATES

Article 54. Telecommunications standards and technical regulations 

1. The system of telecommunications standards include international standards, regional standards, foreign standards, national standards and in-house standards on telecommunications equipment, telecommunications connection, telecommunications facilities, and telecommunications network and service quality that are declared and applied in Vietnam in accordance with the law on standards, technical regulations and product and goods quality.

2. The system of telecommunications technical regulations include national technical regulations on telecommunications equipment, telecommunications connection, telecommunications facilities, and telecommunications network and service quality that are elaborated and promulgated in accordance with the law on standards, technical regulations and product and goods quality.

Article 55. Management of telecommunications standards and technical regulations, telecommunications network and service quality

1. Before marketing or connecting terminal equipment on the list of likely unsafe telecommunications equipment to public telecommunications networks, organizations and individuals shall obtain standard conformity certification, declare standard conformity and use standard conformity marks.

2. Before putting network equipment on the list of telecommunications equipment subject to mandatory inspection into operation, telecommunications enterprises shall carry out the inspection thereof.

3. Telecommunications enterprises shall declare, inspect and control the quality of telecommunications networks and services on the list of telecommunications networks and services subject to quality management.

4. The mutual recognition of results of the assessment of telecommunications standard and technical regulation conformity between Vietnam and foreign countries or territories must comply with treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party; such mutual recognition between Vietnamese conformity assessment organizations and conformity assessment organizations of foreign countries or territories must comply with their agreements.

5. The elaboration, appraisal and declaration of national standards on telecommunications must comply with the law on standards and technical regulations.

6. The Ministry of Information and Communications shall:

a/ Promulgate national technical regulations on telecommunications and regulations on assessment of conformity with technical regulations on telecommunications equipment and telecommunications network and services;

b/ Provide the management of the quality of telecommunications network and service quality;

c/ Promulgate the list of likely unsafe telecommunications equipment, the list of telecommunications equipment subject to mandatory inspection and the list of telecommunications networks and services subject to quality management;

d/ Designate, and manage operation of, conformity assessment organizations to meet requirements of the state management of telecommunications product, commodities, network and service quality.

7. The state management agency in charge of telecommunications and specialized agencies in charge of telecommunications of provincial-level People’s Committees shall carry out inspection and examination of the quality of telecommunications equipment, networks, products and commodities in localities under their management according to regulations of related line ministries.

Article 56. Telecommunications service charge rates

1. Telecommunications service charge rates include telecommunications charge rates applicable to telecommunications service users and charge rates applied among telecommunications enterprises.

2. Charge rates applicable to telecommunications service users are those at which telecommunications service users shall pay charges to telecommunications enterprises for using telecommunications services provided by the latter.

3. Charge rates applied among telecommunications enterprises include:

a/ Wholesale service charge rates, which are prices at which a telecommunications enterprise pays to another when the former buys the latter’s telecommunications traffic or services or rents the latter’s telecommunications network for provision of telecommunications services;

b/ Telecommunications connection service charge rates, which are prices at which a telecommunications enterprise pays to another when the former uses the latter’s network for connection of telecommunications services.

Article 57. Principles for management and regulation of telecommunications service charge rates

1. Making up for costs of the production and commercial provision of telecommunications services and solvency of telecommunications service users for services on the List of goods and services priced by the State.

2. Harmonizing of interests of the State and lawful rights and interests of telecommunications enterprises and service users.

3. Reviewing price components for adjustment of telecommunications service charge rates in case of necessity. The adjustment of telecommunications service charge rates must comply with the grounds for charge rate determination specified in Article 58 of this Law.

4. Respecting the right of telecommunications enterprises to self-determination of and competition in telecommunications service charge rates.

5. Being compliant with treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

6. Ensuring an environment for fair competition in telecommunications activities.

7. Ensuring equality and non-discrimination in the management and promulgation of telecommunications service charge rates.

8. Refraining from using profits earned from the commercial provision of a telecommunications service to support the commercial provision of another telecommunications service by the same enterprise.

Article 58. Grounds for determination of telecommunications service charge rates

Telecommunications service charge rates shall be determined on the following grounds:

1. Their constituents at the time of determination;

2. The telecommunications service market supply and demand.

Article 59. Management of telecommunications service charge rates

1. The Ministry of Information and Communications shall:

a/ Direct and guide the implementation of regulations on reporting, accounting and audit in service of the management of telecommunications service charge rates;

b/ Organize the declaration and listing of telecommunications service charge rates in accordance with the law on price;

c/ Coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in managing competition in the field of telecommunications in accordance with the law on competition; and coordinate with other agencies in managing sales promotion in the provision of telecommunications services;

d/ Control or terminate the application of telecommunications service charge rates when telecommunications enterprises impose too high or too low telecommunications service charge rates, causing telecommunications market instability and harming the lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users, other telecommunications enterprises and the State.

2. The Minister of Information and Communications shall:

a/ Provide the management of telecommunications service charge rates;

b/ Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Finance in, promulgating regulations on methods of determining telecommunications service charge rates;

c/ Decide on telecommunications service charge rates for services on the List of goods and services priced by the State.

3. Telecommunications enterprises have the following rights and obligations:

a/ To decide on charge rates for telecommunications services they provide, except telecommunications services on the List of goods and services priced by the State;

b/ To submit to the Ministry of Information and Communications plans on telecommunications service charge rates of services priced by the State;

c/ To implement methods of determining telecommunications service charge rates and regulations on management of telecommunications service charge rates of the Minister of Information and Communications;

d/ To account expenses and determine costs of telecommunications services under regulations;

dd/ To make reports on and carry out accounting and audit in service of the management of telecommunications service charge rates;

e/ To declare and list telecommunications service charge rates in accordance with the law on price;

g/ To refrain from imposing too high or too low telecommunications service charge rates, causing market instability and harming lawful rights and interests of telecommunications service users, other telecommunications enterprises and the State.

Article 60. Making of invoices and payment of telecommunications service use charge

1. Telecommunications enterprises shall make invoices of payment of the telecommunications service use charge in an accurate, adequate and prompt manner for postpaid telecommunications service users. Telecommunications service users shall fully and promptly pay the charge for use of telecommunications services provided by telecommunications enterprises as stated in invoices.

2. Telecommunications enterprises shall accurately deduct charge amounts payable by telecommunications service users at charge rates set for prepaid telecommunications services.

3. Invoices of payment of the telecommunications service charge shall be made in accordance with law and must accurately and clearly show the following contents:

a/ Service charge rate and charge amount to be paid for each type of communications services;

b/ Total payable charge amount;

c/ Value-added tax (if any).

4. Telecommunications enterprises shall provide technical measures to help users and competent state agencies inquire about real-time information on the deduction of telecommunications service use charge amounts, with priority given to online deduction method. In case of making monthly invoices of payment of telecommunications service charge amounts under contracts, telecommunications enterprises shall provide or hire other organizations to provide free of charge for only once detailed information about telecommunications service charge amounts at the request of service users.

Article 61. Management of mobile telecommunications service prepaid cards and mobile SIM accounts

1. Mobile telecommunications service prepaid card means a card issued by a telecommunications enterprise for users to top up the mobile SIM account of such enterprise.

2. Mobile SIM account means an account showing the amount topped up by a telecommunications service user via its/his/her mobile telecommunications service prepaid card or by lawful payment instruments (excluding sales promotion); and recorded in the charging system of the telecommunications enterprise for a mobile telecommunications subscriber.

3. Mobile SIM accounts shall be used to pay for mobile telecommunications services and information content services on mobile telecommunications networks in accordance with law.

4. The Government shall provide in detail the management of mobile telecommunications service prepaid cards and mobile SIM accounts.

Article 62. Refund of telecommunications service use charge amounts and compensations for damage

1. Telecommunications enterprises that fail to provide telecommunications services according to time and quality requirements stated in contracts signed with telecommunications service users shall refund part or the whole of collected telecommunications service use charge amounts.

2. Telecommunications enterprises are not required to pay compensations for indirect damage or unearned profits due to their failure to provide telecommunications services according to time and quality requirements stated in contracts with service users.

3. In the provision and use of telecommunications services, parties to telecommunications service provision and use contracts shall pay compensations for material damage directly caused by their fault to other parties, except force majeure events.

 

Chapter VIII

TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

Article 63. Master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure

1. Local-level master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure are technical and specialized master plans that concretize provincial master plans and conform with the master plan on information and communications infrastructure.

2. Master plans on construction of urban areas, residential areas, functional areas and cottage industry zones specified in the Construction Law and relevant laws must ensure consistency and uniformity with master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure so as to facilitate the establishment of telecommunications infrastructure and provision and use of telecommunications services.

3. The Government shall provide in detail the contents, formulation, appraisal, approval, publicization, provision of information, implementation, evaluation and adjustment of master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure in localities.

Article 64. Land used for telecommunications facilities

1. Pursuant to the master plan on national information and communications infrastructure, master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure and land-use master plans and plans approved by competent state agencies, People’s Committees at competent levels shall allocate or lease land for construction of telecommunications facilities in their localities.

2. People’s Committees at all levels shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with telecommunications project owners in, carrying out site clearance and compensation for land and assets, and protecting land areas reserved for telecommunications projects specified in Clause 1 of this Article and relevant regulations.

Article 65. Engineering, construction and installation of telecommunications facilities

1. The engineering, construction and installation of telecommunications facilities must comply with master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure, technical regulations on construction, technical regulations on telecommunications and other relevant regulations.

2. The technical infrastructure system including traffic works, electric poles, electric lines, water supply and drainage facilities, public lighting facilities and other technical infrastructure facilities shall be engineered and built in compliance with relevant technical regulations to ensure the installation and protection of transmission lines and telecommunications facilities.

Passive telecommunications infrastructure is mandatory when making basic designs of the technical infrastructure system according to relevant technical regulations.

Technical infrastructure project owners shall send information about technical infrastructure construction projects to state management agencies in charge of telecommunications or specialized telecommunications agencies under provincial-level People’s Committees for notification to telecommunications enterprises for them to register for the shared use of project owners’ technical infrastructure.

3. Telecommunications facilities that are built or installed at head offices or non-business units, or on land and assets of the armed forces and infrastructure assets serving national and public interests specified in the Law on Management and Use of Public Assets must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Complying with Clause 1 of this Article;

b/ Not affecting the operation of agencies, organizations or units assigned to manage and use public assets or the utilities of public assets on which the telecommunications facilities are installed;

c/ Ensuring technical feasibility; meeting requirements on landscape, environmental protection, safety and security.

4. The construction and installation of telecommunications facilities on public assets shall be carried out through agreements between telecommunications installation enterprises and agencies, organizations or units assigned to manage and use public assets on the basis of adhering to the principles specified in Clause 3 of this Article. The proceeds from agreements on installation of telecommunications facilities on public assets shall be managed and used under the law on management and use of public assets.

5. Telecommunications installation enterprises shall preserve and maintain telecommunications facilities.

6. Construction project owners of apartment buildings, public works, functional areas and cottage industry zones specified in the laws on housing and construction have the following obligations:

a/ To formulate plans on engineering for construction of passive telecommunications infrastructure in conformity with relevant technical regulations to ensure consistency and synchronization in construction investment and facilitate the establishment of telecommunications infrastructure and provision and use of telecommunications services;

b/ To engineer and install, or organize the engineering and installation of, telecommunications cable networks in apartment buildings and public works upon construction of apartment buildings and public works;

c/ To arrange sites for installation of antenna masts on buildings’ roofs and base transceiver stations in apartment buildings and public works if such installation is technically feasible;

d/ To arrange sites for the construction of passive telecommunications infrastructure and installation of telecommunications equipment in functional areas and cottage industry zones.

7. The engineering, construction, management and use of passive telecommunications infrastructure, telecommunications cable networks and base transceiver stations in apartment buildings, public works, functional areas and cottage industry zones must ensure that at least 2 telecommunications enterprises can provide services to users.

8. Organizations managing and operating apartment buildings, public works, functional areas and cottage industry zones shall facilitate the construction, installation, use, renovation and repair of passive telecommunications infrastructure, base transceiver stations and telecommunications cable networks in apartment buildings, public works, functional areas and cottage industry zones.

9. Before carrying out the construction of passive telecommunications infrastructure, organizations and individuals shall notify such to specialized telecommunications agencies under provincial-level People’s Committees.

10. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 66. Shared use of infrastructure facilities

1. The shared use of traffic, energy supply, public lighting, water supply, wastewater collection and treatment and telecommunications infrastructure facilities and other infrastructure facilities must ensure efficiency and thrift, satisfaction of requirements on landscape and environmental protection, and conformity with urban master plans and relevant master plans decided or approved by competent agencies.

2. The shared use of infrastructure facilities must comply with the Government’s regulations.

Article 67. Management of telecommunications facilities

1. The Ministry of Information and Communications has the following responsibilities:

a/ To guide the shared use of passive telecommunications infrastructure among telecommunications enterprises;

b/ To assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Construction in, providing in detail the mechanism and principles of controlling prices, and methods of determining rental rates for cable networks in buildings and rental rates for passive telecommunications infrastructure between telecommunications enterprises and telecommunications facility owners.

2. Provincial-level People’s Committees have the following responsibilities:

a/ To approve, announce, guide, monitor and examine the implementation of master plans on passive telecommunications infrastructure;

b/ To organize the shared use of technical infrastructure among telecommunications, electricity, transport and water supply and drainage sectors and other sectors in localities.

3. Organizations and individuals shall comply with regulations on master plans, engineering, construction and shared use of traffic, construction, energy supply, public lighting, water supply and drainage and telecommunications infrastructure and other technical infrastructure facilities.

 

Chapter IX

STATE MANAGEMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Article 68. Contents of state management of telecommunications

1. Formulating, promulgating, and organizing the implementation of, strategies, master plans and policies on telecommunications development and legal documents on telecommunications; regulatory sandbox for new technologies and new models in telecommunications activities; and national standards, technical regulations, technical requirements, and techno-economic norms on telecommunications.

2. Managing and regulating the telecommunications market; managing the commercial provision of telecommunications services and telecommunications operations.

3. Carrying out dissemination of and education about the law on telecommunications.

4. Training, further training and developing human resources; researching and applying science and technology in telecommunications activities.

5. Managing the online and offline reporting and making statistics on telecommunications.

6. Carrying out international cooperation on telecommunications.

7. Inspecting and examining the implementation of regulations on telecommunications.

8. Settling disputes, complaints and denunciations, and handling violations of the law on telecommunications.

Article 69. Responsibilities for state management of telecommunications

1. The Government shall perform the unified state management of telecommunications.

2. The Ministry of Information and Communications shall act as the focal point assisting the Government in performing state management of telecommunications.

3. The Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Public Security shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, manage the private telecommunications networks serving national defense and security purposes; the Minister of National Defense shall manage the private telecommunications network serving cipher purpose.

4. Ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications in performing the state management of telecommunications.

5. People’s Committees at all levels shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, perform the state management of telecommunications in their localities.

Article 70. International cooperation on telecommunications

1. International cooperation on telecommunications shall be carried out on the principles of respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality and mutual interest.

2. To comply with treaties on telecommunications to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

3. Vietnam commits to acting as an active and responsible member of international telecommunications organizations.

4. To prioritize the consideration of concluding treaties and international agreements that are beneficial to promoting the development of new and advanced technologies in the field of telecommunications and conform with Vietnam’s interests and capacity.

5. To promote international cooperation and assistance for state management, human resource training, sharing of information and experience, research and development of technologies, standards and applications on new-generation Internet and next-generation telecommunications network technologies.

6. The Ministry of Information and Communications shall act as the focal point summarizing international integration and cooperation on telecommunications. Ministries, ministerial-level agencies, and People’s Committees at all levels shall organize international cooperation on telecommunications in the fields falling under their management.

 

Chapter X

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 71. To amend, supplement, replace or annul a number of articles of relevant laws

1. To replace the phrase “telecommunication network establishment license” at Point b, Clause 1, Article 18a; Point b, Clause 3 of Article 20; and Point a, Clause 2, Article 24, of Law No. 42/2009/QH12 on Radio Frequencies, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 09/2022/QH15, with the phrase “license for provision of telecommunication services based on network infrastructure”.

2. To replace the phrase “Internet resources” in Clause 7, Article 4; and Clause 5, Article 119, of Law No. 15/2017/QH14 on Management and Use of Public Property, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 64/2020/QH14 and Law No. 07/2022/QH15, with the phrase “Vietnam Internet resources”.

3.  To amend and supplement the List of charges and fees provided in Appendix No. 1 to Law No. 97/2015/QH13 on Charges and Fees, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 09/2017/QH14, Law No. 23/2018/QH14, Law No. 72/2020/QH14, Law No. 16/2023/QH15, and Law No. 20/2023/QH15,
as follows:

a/ To amend and supplement Point 2, Section VI, Part A as follows:

2

Internet resource maintenance fee

 

b/ To add Point 2.3 to below Point 2.2, Section VI, Part A as follows:

2.3

Autonomous system number maintenance  fee

Ministry of Finance

c/ To amend and supplement Point 5, Section III, Part B as follows:

5

Fee for distribution of telecommunications number storage and distribution and allocation of Internet resources

 

d/ To add Point 5.4 to below Point 5.3, Section III, Part B as follows:

5.4

Autonomous system number  registration fee

Ministry of Finance

4. To annul Article 76 of Law No. 67/2006/QH11 on Information Technology, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 21/2017/QH14 and Law No. 20/2023/QH15.

Article 72. Effect

1. This Law takes effect on July 1, 2024, except the provisions of Clauses 3 and 4 of this Article.

2. Law No. 41/2009/QH12 on Telecommunications, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 21/2017/QH14 and Law No. 23/2018/QH14, ceases to be effective on the date this Law takes effect, except the case specified in Clause 4, Article 73 of this Law.

3. The regulations on provision of basic telecommunications services on the Internet, data center services and cloud computing services in Articles 28 and 29 of this Law shall take effect on January 1, 2025.

4. The regulation on payment of the autonomous system number maintenance fee and the autonomous system number registration fee at Point d, Clause 9, Article 50; and Clause 3, Article 71, of this Law shall take effect on January 1, 2025.

Article 73. Transitional provisions

1. Licenses for telecommunications operations granted under Law No. 41/2009/QH12 on Telecommunications, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 21/2017/QH14 and Law No. 23/2018/QH14, shall remain valid until their expiry dates.

2. Enterprises may continue to commercially provide telecommunications services within the validity period of their licenses for commercial provision of telecommunications services granted under Law No. 41/2009/QH12 on Telecommunications, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 21/2017/QH14 and Law No. 23/2018/QH14, until the expiry dates of the licenses, except the case specified in Clause 3 of this Article.

3. In case an enterprise is granted a license for provision of telecommunications services and a license for establishment of public telecommunications networks, if the validity period stated in the license for provision of telecommunications services is shorter than that stated in the license for establishment of public telecommunications networks, the validity period of the former license is that of the latter license.

4. In case an organization or enterprise submits a dossier of application for a telecommunications license before the effective date of this Law but is not granted such a license by July 1, 2024, it shall be considered for being granted the license under Law No. 41/2009/QH12 on Telecommunications, which had a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 21/2017/QH14 and Law No. 23/2018/QH14.

This Law was passed on November 24, 2023, by the 15th National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at its 6th session.-

Chairman of the National Assembly
VUONG DINH HUE


[1] Công Báo Nos 29-30 (05/01/2024)

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