October 25, 2020

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Telecommunications services help fight COVID-19 in Vietnam

Telecom service providers sent over 15 billion text messages regarding COVID-19 control and prevention during the first half of 2020.

The sector received donations, via text for victims of the pandemic, totalling VN Đ152 billion (US $6.58 million).

The information was released at a conference held earlier this week by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC)to review its work in the first half and set out tasks for the remainder of the year.

According to a press release, during the period, the sector put into use 20 COVID-19 control and prevention applications and 12 platforms serving social distancing.

Despite a surge in online activities, the number of cyberattacks fell by 26% compared to the second half of 2019 and by 27.1% year-on-year.

There were 600,000 COVID-19-related articles published in newspapers to provide readers with official news, the release informed.

Notably, in the social distancing period in April, postal companies ensured the smooth flow of goods, with more than 377 million parcels delivered, an annual increase of over 40%.

MIC also announced it has completed the provision of all online administrative procedures at Level 4, meaning service payments can be done online and transaction results are available either online or by post, upon request.

Currently, MIC and the health ministry are the only two governmental bodies to have done so.

The release said that between now and the end of the year, MIC will give instructions to help all localities nationwide build telecom infrastructure development plans to increase the rate of passive telecom infrastructure sharing to 17-20%.

It will also work with telecom businesses and smartphone producers to ensure each citizen has a smartphone.

The priorities the ministry needs to carry out include, helping all localities implement the local government service platform and ensuring that the IT systems of all public agencies have four-layer security.

The digital economy is projected to make up some 20% of the country’s GDP in the future, with the proportion of the digital economy in each economic sector reaching at least 10%, whilst annual labour productivity will likely increase by at least 7%.

The country is also predicted to be among the top 50 countries in terms of the information and communication technology development index (IDI) within the next five years, among the top 50 countries in terms of the global competitiveness index (GCI), and in the top 35 countries in terms of the global innovation index (GII).

Following the country’s digital transformation plan, both 4G and 5G mobile network services and smart mobile phones will be universalised, while more than half of the country’s population will be making use of electronic forms of payment.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Phan Tam, said that the ministry will begin piloting Made-in-Vietnam 5G devices in July and a 5G network using such devices in October.

The first Vietnamese smartphone supporting 5G has been successfully developed by Vinsmart, the technology arm of the conglomerate Vingroup, in cooperation with US chipmaker Qualcomm.

The model, known as the Vsmart Aris 5G, was unveiled on 6 July, featuring the mid-tier Snapdragon 765 chipset, making it an upper mid-range device.

The Vsmart Aris 5G uses Sub-6 GHz frequencies, providing better coverage but lower speeds than mmWave.