Friday, March 5, 2021

Internet & Communications in Vietnam

Asia Vietnam Internet & Communications in Vietnam

Phone in Vietnam

Landline numbers in Hanoi and HCMC have an eight-digit sequence, others have seven digits.

  • Vietnam International dialling code: +84
  • Hanoi area code: (4)
  • Area code for Ho Chi Minh City: (8)

VoIP calls

Telephone bills are 30 to 40% cheaper when dialled using services 171 or 178.

  • National call: 171 (178) + 0 + area code + number.
  • International call: 171 (178) + 00 + country code + area code + number.

As hotels and guesthouses often charge higher fees for telephone calls, try to find a post office or other reliable public service.

Mobile phones

Mobile phone numbers in Vietnam must always have 9 or 10 digits (including a “0” which precedes the “1nn” or “9nn” in Vietnam), regardless of where they are called from. The 1nn or 9nn is a mobile prefix, not an “area code” in the strict sense, and the second and sometimes third digits (the nn part) indicate the mobile network originally assigned. Like most mobile numbers, they can also be called in international format inside or outside Vietnam.

There are many mobile phone networks with different prefixes:

  • G Mobile: 199, 99 (GSM 900)
  • Mobifone: 90, 93, 122, 124, 126 (GSM 900/1800)
  • SFone: 95 (CDMA)(not available)
  • Vietnamobile: 92, 188, 186 (GSM 900)
  • Viettel : 98, 97, 96, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169 (GSM 900)
  • Vinaphone: 91, 94, 121, 123, 125 (GSM 900)
  • You can buy a SIM card at any shop that sells mobile phones. The standard price is no more than 75,000 dongs, but foreigners often have to pay 100,000 dongs. SIM cards are also available at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City airports in the cabins of official airlines, so you can get a SIM card quickly, easily and without fraud on arrival. One month of 3G data, with limited credit for text and voice calls, can cost as little as 140,000 dongs.
  • Prepaid account fees vary between 890 and 1600 dongs per minute. Top-up cards are available in denominations of 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 dong.
  • Roaming on Vietnamese GSM networks is possible with foreign mobile phones, depending on agreements between operators.

Useful numbers

  • Police 113
  • Fire brigade 114
  • Hospital 115
  • Hour 117
  • General information 1080

Internet in Vietnam

  • Internet access is available in all but the most remote towns. Internet cafés can be found in most tourist locations and prices are quite reasonable, ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 dongs per hour. Connection speeds are high, especially in big cities.
  • Many hotels and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi or hotspots for their guests. If you bring your own phone and/or laptop, several providers also offer mobile internet services (EDGE/3G).
  • Internet censorship is applied to a very small number of internet services.
    • Facebook is no longer blocked (Apr 2014)
    • BBC websites are no longer blocked (May 2015).
    • wordpress.com and its sub-domains (free wordpress blogs) may be blocked in certain areas.
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A quick Google search for relevant programmes should help you get around the ban relatively easily. It has also been reported that telecom companies are blocking the use of Skype, although the ban seems to have been lifted again. Other sites such as Gmail, YouTube and Wikipedia are not affected. If web censorship is an issue, try the Tor browser.