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Vietnamese Telecom Firms Target 5G Chipsets and Devices

Vietnam 5G Chipsets and Devices
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Experts and leading IT and telecom firms shared experience and discussed the possibility of co-operation in manufacturing 5G chipsets and network infrastructure devices during a seminar in Hanoi, last week.

The seminar was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MIC).

According to a press release, Vietnamese tech firms are planning to produce chips for 5G core networks and IoT devices. They plan to research and develop mobile phones and 5G telecommunications devices.

Only ten countries commercialised 5G as of September this year: South Korea, Japan, China, the US, Australia, the UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway, and Russia.

Earlier this year, the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, urged the development of domestic technology firms and made-in-Vietnam products.

Resolution No.52-NQ/TW recently issued by the politburo and the draft for Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy towards 2030 emphasised the significance of expanding tech companies. This will be vital to helping Vietnam escape the middle-income trap and build a developed and independent economy, the Deputy Minister said.

The Party and State have adopted various incentives to facilitate R&D for hi-tech products, particularly 5G chipsets and network infrastructure devices. Major IT and telecoms firms in Vietnam have started developing 5G technology.

The Deputy Minister called on participating firms to work together to develop 5G chipsets and devices in Vietnam.

Additionally, the MIC has licensed operators to start testing 5G technology in some major cities.

The Deputy Director-General of the telecom military-run group Viettel said it had been developing 5G technology and network infrastructure devices since 2015. This includes base-transceiver stations, core networks, and terminal equipment.

The group planned to complete manufacturing the first version of its 5G stations and network next year before it went into commercial operation in 2021, he said.

A representative from the VinSmart Research and Manufacture JSC said the company was focused on researching and producing 5G and IoT devices. The company is also building labs to support research and development for 5G mobile phones and telecommunications devices.

The first 5G mobile phones are expected to hit the market in July next year and testing for 5G devices is scheduled to start in August.

At the seminar, representatives from participating companies talked about the R&D challenges they faced as well as 5G projects.

The Deputy Director of Viettel High Technology Industries Corporation said that one of the difficulties was gaining consumer trust as the country had never produced a chip before from start to finish.

Viettel’s second problem was the lack of design experts, who needed five to ten years’ experience, he said.

VinSmart had asked MIC to provide frequencies to test its 5G devices, but that was proving difficult because it was not a network operator.

The MIC Deputy Minister has asked MIC’s Radio Frequency Management Board to consider licensing certain frequencies for 5G device producers.

He said the ministry would support the development of the integrated circuit field.

The MIC has been designated to form a strategy to better define the role and responsibility of the state in promoting chipset development among Vietnamese enterprises.

In response, the ministry has asked for recommendations and suggestions from organisations and businesses to complete the plan.

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