Licensing information for Viet Nam - 3W, XV

Prepared by: OH2MCN - Veke & XV6Z / K6SGD - Larry
Status: November 1998, July '99 links added, Mar 11

Intro: Comments on Amateur Radio Licensing in Viet Nam. Several good things happened in 1998 regarding licensing in Viet Nam.

The government formulated a set of rules and regulations, also for the first time there is an actual application form. The best thing is the recent (Nov. 98) official appointment of Mr. Nguyen Bac Ai (in Viet Namese the family name always comes first) as liaison for reciprocal licensing. Bac Ai is retired from the department that issues the licenses. He is also President of the Viet Namese Amateur Radio Club and holds the license of XV2A. Bac Ai probably knows more about licensing in Viet Nam than anybody. I would suggest that contacting him is a good place to start if you are interested. He can be reached as follows -----

11 Bis Nguyen Dinh Chieu Str
Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Viet Nam

Tel. 848-829-4912
Fax 848-829-4912

Call signs - The policy at this time is to issue only XV call signs. The number denotes geographic location Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is 6, Hanoi is 7, Vung Tau is 5, etc. Call signs must be a minimum of 5 characters. New XV calls are now reserved for commercial use and special events stations only. I am fortunate in that my call was "grandfathered in" and I can keep it. You can choose your two or three letter suffix, if it hasn't been used.

Modes - To the best of my knowledge no one has operated anything but CW and SSB. I will be going on the air with RTTY early in 1999 and other modes are probably possible if you ask.

Costs - The license itself will cost about $40. US. In addition you must pay for each amateur band you use. The cost is about $50. US per band per year, but if you get a temporary license it can be prorated by the month, or about $4.17 US per band per month. Licenses are normally issued for one year and renewable, but temporary licenses are also issued for any length of time up to six months. Temporary licenses can be re-activated using the same call sign at a future date.

Power - The limit is 500 watts for the HF bands and less for VHF.

Import of Equipment - This can be a difficult problem as the licensing and customs are completely separate. It is hard to figure what customs will charge as it depends on many factors. Delays in processing the paperwork are possible and even likely. Check with Bac Ai for help and advice.

License Application Forms - The forms and instructions are in Viet Namese! You must designate the complete address where you will operate. This includes things like the latitude and longitude, ground height above sea level, antenna height above ground, etc. Also required is detail info on your antenna and trasceiver. A big problem in applying for a license overseas is that you must present your passport & visa at an Viet Namese Embassy or Consulate to have your signature verified on the amateur radio application, that in itself is probably going to cost you $40. US, and for most people require a bit of travel as there aren't embassies or consulates everywhere. There is the problem of paying the license fees from overseas, which can be complicated. Hopefully, Bac Ai will be able to simplify things quite a lot and bypass what has up to now been a long, frustrating process.

At present, Nov. 98, there are about 10 current licenses in the whole country. Most are in the HCMC area. I think there is one station on 80 meters and one on 10. Most number would be on 20 meters. To the best of my knowledge, there is no activity on 160, 6 or 2 meters.

Club Stations - There are now some club stations in HCMC. Temporary use of a club station may be possible. This is a new thing and it remains to be seen exactly how and if it will work. Again you can ask Bac Ai for advice on this and what the current status is.

Potential QTH for temporary license holders - There are a number of small and medium size hotels that will allow operation and allow you to install a temporary antenna on the roof. The big new 5 star hotels really can't accomodate amateurs. Two of the potential possibilities would be ----

Asian Hotel
150 Dong Khoi St., Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Tel - 848-829-6979
FAX - 848-829-7433
Contact the General Mgr., Mr. Pham Van Hung

Oscar Saigon Hotel
68A Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Tel - 848-829-2959
FAX - 848-822-2958
Contact Mr. Nguyen Tran Cat

I hope this helps a little to fill in the gap in available information regarding amateur radio licensing in Viet Nam. If someone has a specific question regarding this subject, I will try to answer if they e-mail me at -

< loughran at >


Larry Loughran XV6Z / K6SGD

DX Holiday 3W - Vietnam

DX Shack 3W - Vietnam

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