That’s how many mobile phones were in use in Việt Nam as of January 2006. That means approximately 15% of Việt Nam’s citizens own a mobile phone. As I was leaving class the other day, I looked at the back of the room and saw a student using her phone for text messaging. Knowing there was a break between the end of my class, and the beginning of the next, she took advantage of the time to catch up with friends.
No – I wasn’t upset. Mobile phones are so ubiquitous in Việt Nam, they are just an ordinary part of daily life.
Our Guest House is in a newer area of Huê where some gorgeous new homes are located. As yet, there are few (if any) zoning laws here, and folks have not made the leap to worrying about property values. On my way to work, I pass by this huge new house – with a tall mobile phone antenna perched on top. Hey – the newly rich of Huê must get their phone service somehow.
During a recent môto trip to the countryside, I was about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Huê when I got curious. I took out my mobile phone to see if I could call the Mystery Guest Blogger if I needed to. Sure enough, I had five pegs on my phone.
It is much easier to bring telephone service to the countryside and remote areas of Việt Nam using wireless technology than it is to string wires to every home. The growth is phenomenal.
And yes – you do see motorbike riders talking on their mobile phone while riding.