Viettel has operations in 10 overseas markets, boasting over 30 million subscribers outside of Vietnam

Vietnam’s biggest telco, Viettel, could be considering a move into North Korea’s fledgling mobile telecoms market, according to the company’s CEO and President. 

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Le Dang Dung, said that his company would be open to entering the North Korean market once international sanctions against the reclusive Asian state were lifted. 

“We first sought permission from North Korea to build a mobile network there in 2010,” Viettel’s Le Dang Dung said.

“But we’re still waiting for sanctions to be lifted and for the country to open its market to foreign investors.”

In 2009, Viettel confirmed its interest in expanding its international portfolio by setting up operations in North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. 

At present, the only international firm present in the North Korean market is Egypt’s Orascom Investment Holdings. 

Vietnam’s national carrier has more than 63 million customers in its domestic market and is cultivating a growing portfolio of international ventures. In 2017, Viettel committed $1.5 billion to the Mytel Joint Venture in Myanmar. Mytel currently has 5 million subscribers in Myanmar but recently announced plans to double its customer base in what is becoming one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.