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Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Bring an unlocked mobile phone and use a SIM from Viettel, the most reliable provider. The embassy local staff can set you up with a decent plan (less than $30/mo for a decent chunk of minutes and 2-3GB high speed internet) but you can get even cheaper rates if you do a bit of your own research. Smartphones are incredibly useful here for getting around, as Google Maps and several local food rating sites work very well throughout the country. - Dec 12, 2017
readily available - May 4, 2016
Bring an unlocked GSM phone. - Mar 13, 2015
State control of the cell phone industry means dirt cheap prices. I paid US$5-10/month for 3G data. Well sometimes it was more like 2G or 2.5G but the price was right. - Aug 12, 2014
SIM cards and pre-paid loads are available everywhere on the street. Real cheap. Plenty of shops to buy a phone. The Vietnamese love their cell phones and text all the time, including while driving their scooters. - Dec 13, 2011
The embassy will issue you a cell phone. If you need a second one, it's relatively cheap - pay as you go. - May 23, 2010
Excellent cell phone service available throughout the country. - Feb 11, 2009
Cell phones are plentiful, cheap, and readily available, and most people have and use cell phones for their communication needs. However they are generally limited to calling and text messages and do not have the more advanced options of internet surfing or email. Most use prepaid phone cards. There are seven local cell phone providers with Mobiphone and Viettel being the most popular. Cell service is generally not bad but there are a few locations such as inside buildings or the remote countryside where coverage is weak. International roaming is only available for cell phones with contracts. In order to sign up for a contract service one must have identification indicating residence in Vietnam and go to the main post office to fill out the paperwork and make a substantial deposit. The Embassy provides cell phones to all staff but requires certification of all international calls. - Sep 27, 2008
Cell phones are a dime a dozen here. Limited CDMA service, everything else is GSM. Embassy will issue a cell phone for the employee. Prepaid SIM cards are available everywhere and service is dirt cheap. I am not aware of anyone using their cell phones for long distance so cannot comment on costs doing so. The embassy issued phones have roaming enabled for all surrounding countries, so calling home when TDY within the region is no problem. - May 17, 2008