Vietnam’s new telecom law set to take effect

  • The new Telecom Law is set to take effect on July 1, 2024, with its significant provisions regulating over-the-top (OTT) communications, data centers (DC), and cloud computing services becoming effective in the subsequent 6 months.
  • This new legislation introduces three new definitions, including basic telecom services on the Internet, cloud services, and DC services. It also involves restrictions on foreign investments in OTT communications, DC, and cloud services, along with obligations for service providers.

Vietnam’s new Telecom Law was passed by the National Assembly on November 24, 2023. This law will replace the 2009 Telecom Law, which has been in effect since 2010. While the new Telecom Law is scheduled to be enforced on July 1, 2024, the provisions governing OTT communications, DC, and cloud computing services will come into effect in the following 6 months, precisely on January 1, 2025. Many issues under the new Telecom Law will be clarified through some governmental decrees and ministerial-level documents.

The new Telecom Law

The new Telecom Law in Vietnam, formally approved by the National Assembly on 24th November 2023, is set to come into effect on 1st July 2024, replacing the 2009 Telecom Law. Notably, the provisions governing over-the-top (OTT) communications, data centres (DC), and cloud computing services will take effect in the subsequent six months, precisely on 1st January 2025.

Several governmental decrees and ministerial-level documents will explain numerous aspects of the new law. On 2nd February 2024, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) released a draft of the Telecom Law, aiming to provide detailed explanations on various issues under the new Telecom Law, including the regulations applicable to offshore providers of OTT communications, DC, and cloud services. Before 2nd April 2024, advisers are expected to submit their comments to the MIC, in order to finalise and publish the Telecom Law draft by 1st July 2024.

Also Read:HGC: Bringing cybersecurity assurance to Hong Kong’s telecommunications industry

Key points

The new legal introduces three definitions. Basic telecommunications services on the Internet: a service that provide users with the ability to send, transmit, and receive information on the Internet. DC services: According to a part or the entirety of a data centre, offering telecommunications services to users including the capability to process, store, and retrieve information on telecommunications networks. Cloud services: telecommunications services that, using a cloud model, deliver users the functionality to process, store, and retrieve information on telecommunications networks.

In the domains of OTT communication, DC, and cloud services, there are no restrictions on foreign investment, which implies that foreign investors will be able to establish wholly-owned subsidiaries in Vietnam to provide OTT communication, DC, or cloud services. However, due to the new law being in its early stages, local investment management authorities may still need some time to negotiate this matter.

The new Telecom Law stipulates distinct obligations for onshore and offshore providers of OTT communication, DC, and cloud services. Onshore providers will undertake a list of obligations, while the obligations of offshore providers are not specified in the law. The government will further regulate their rights and obligations under the principles of respecting independence, sovereignty, equality, ensuring safety, information security, and fulfilling Vietnam’s common commitments in international .


Chloe Kang

Chloe Kang was an intern reporter at BTW Media.

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