The number of Internet users in Vietnam will rise by a factor of 10 over the next seven years to around 20 million, according to the country’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).
The current number of subscribers is 491,000, but with several people accessing a single account, the number of users is just over two million, according to Vietnam Internet Network Information Center figures.
That represents 2.5 per cent of the country’s 80 million people. In a published report of a seminar held last week by MPT and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), MPT said that figure will rise to between four per cent and five per cent by 2005 and between 25 per cent and 30 per cent by 2010.
According to the MPT report, the seminar focused on the infrastructure of information and communications technology, which the government has identified as a key economic driver for the country.
Vietnam recently introduced its first Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband Internet service and Wi-Fi hotspots, and offers a national voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony service.
MPT said that Vietnam’s IT and communications industry is expected to be worth US$5.5 billion in revenue by the year 2010, accounting for nine per cent of gross domestic product, much higher than the current level of 1.5 per cent.