Viet Nam's largest telecom provider, VNPT, will invest 200 million USD to lay a high-capacity submarine optical cable to connect the northern and southern parts of the country.
Announcing this, the State-owned company said the project, to be financed by japanese official development assistance, is necessitated by an expected surge in demand in the country's burgeoning telecom sector.
According to VNPT, by 2010, the total telecommunication output is estimated to reach 1,513 million mitutes per year while the number of internet users will go up to 16.5 million.
The cable, which will have 197 connection points with land, will have a total length of 2,200, of which 2,034km will be under the sea.
VNPT, which currently use two submarine cable routes, the Thailand-Viet Nam-Hong Kong route and the Europ-Asia route, is expected to install the north-south cable by 2008.
In a separate move, the Military Telecommunications Company, or Viettel, has become Viet Nam's second international telecom provider, breaking VNPT's monopoly, after inaugurating its satellite-fed international telecom gate late last month.
The international gate is based in Son Tay town, Ha Tay province.
Do Minh Phuong, head of Viettel's Department of Planning and Business, said the gate transmits signals through three modes: submarine optical cable, overland cable and satellite.
The military-owned company, which has selected the satellite mode for initial use, will provide two kinds of services, internet and telephone.
VNCG-VDC1 - (12/12/2003)