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Vietnam Launches 5G Tests in Peru

Bitel 5G Tests in Peru
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

According to a press release, Peruvian mobile operator Bitel, a subsidiary of Vietnamese state-run telco Viettel, has carried out its first 5G tests in Peru on the fifth anniversary of its market entry.

The operator reached download and upload speeds of 1,506Mbps and 78.7Mbps, respectively.

The General Director of Bitel, Phan Hoang Viet Anh, said the telecoms firm aims to increase its market share from 16.3% at present to 18% by 2020. It is also looking to increase investments to introduce cutting-edge technologies in Peru.

During the five years of operation the country, Bitel grew faster than any other telecom firm, with a network of optical fibre that currently reaches 5,300 3G base stations and 3,400 4G sites in addition to a 35,000km fibre-optic backbone.

The release stated that Bitel’s pre-tax profit increased by 254% year-on-year in the first 9 months of 2019, exceeding expectations. In May, the company also won a US $27 million contract to provide information and technology infrastructure for 1,837 schools in Peru.

Bitel will help the schools improve their services for the education and training sectors. The project includes four packages and will be implemented in 25 cities and provinces in the country.

This is Bitel’s largest project so far. The Bitel-proposed project was evaluated as better than current plans used in the country.

Earlier this month, Viettel announced its plans to roll out 5G technology in Laos by year-end.

The Viettel group member, Unitel will become the first operator to offer the 5G technology in Laos. Unitel boasts 6,000 3G and 4G base stations, covering 95% of the country. It commands more than half the local market with about 3 million subscribers, as OpenGov reported earlier.

In February this year, Unitel helped introduce SIMs to Laos, which led the country to rank 7th out of 10 ASEAN member states in terms of advanced telecommunications services.

Founded in October 2009, the Viettel subsidiary operates across all 17 provinces and cities in Laos and has led the market for eight consecutive years. It is also the Lao government’s partner in implementing the country’s key e-government systems.

Viettel has also been testing 5G in Myanmar and Cambodia through local arms since summer, and in its domestic market since last month, seeking to offer affordable services.

Results from the implementation of the first official connection on Viettel’s 5G network (set up earlier this year) showed that the actual data transfer rate reached 1.5-1.7 gigabytes per second (Gb/s).

This far exceeded the theoretical speed limit of the 4G LTE network, and equivalent to the speed of the commercial cable network at present.

5G networks have been granted licenses for pilots and the service is expected to be commercially deployed in the market by 2020.

Last month, Viettel broadcast its first end-to-end 5G network in Ho Chi Minh City, providing 5G services to the public. In a press release, Viettel noted that it had set up 5G base stations in Ward 12 in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10.

This move was an important milestone in Viettel’s aim to make the country one of the first in the world to commercialise 5G services.

Also, the company installed around 1,000 Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) broadcasting stations around HCM City.

NB-IoT technology feature is capable of disconnecting a device when it is inactive. Thus, the contact time of the terminal is extended to five years without needing to change the battery.

Viettel is also accelerating the process of developing a platform using NB-IoT technology-related services for its customers. It will perform services like smart parking, air quality monitoring, location tracking, and metering devices.

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