Want a mobile subscription in Vietnam? Say cheese for the camera

By Ngoc Tuyen   June 18, 2017 | 01:30 am PT
Want a mobile subscription in Vietnam? Say cheese for the camera
People use mobile phone at a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The millions of spam messages sent every day have forced the government to take action.

Mobile providers in Vietnam now require new subscribers to provide a portrait photo of themselves as well as their personal information in a bid to eliminate spam messages under a regulation issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Existing subscribers will have until next April to provide network providers with photos.

After that period, networks will be fined if they are caught offering services to users who provide false information.

If subscribers refuse to submit their photos, operators will bar outgoing calls after 15 days and disconnect them if they do not comply within 30 days.

Official data shows millions of spam messages are sent in Vietnam every day. Most of them come from prepaid phone accounts that are not registered or registered with false information.

The messages are a headache for subscribers and can also be used by criminals and terrorists, said the ministry.

In its 2017 report, Statista, a market research firm based in Germany, said the number of smartphone users in Vietnam is currently 28.5 million, or 30 percent of the country’s population. It predicts that will rise to 40 percent by 2021.

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