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Vietnam plans 5G development

Image credit; Ministry of Information and Communications

Although 5G pilots launched by major mobile network providers in Vietnam have been successful, the technology has not been exploited to the fullest in the country yet, a press release has said.

With the COVID-19 pandemic come several opportunities to make better use of 5G to meet the demands of the community.

The earliest to pilot 5G technology in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was the state-run Viettel Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) in September last year, along with the internet of things (IoT) platform.

As planned, in June 2020, Viettel is going to pilot the first stage of the commercialisation process for 5G microcell stations, which is a very promising future for smart device owners.

This marked a milestone for Vietnam as one of the first in the world to run the cutting-edge technology. The pilot was corresponding with the standardisation route of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

In March 2020, the Mobile Telecom Services One Member Limited Liability Company (MobiFone) followed the step with the introduction of its first 5G stations in the four major cities of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and HCMC. MobiFone is now technologically ready for the launch of 5G in the country.

The latest to successfully pilot this technology was Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) on 24 April 2020 in Hanoi and HCMC. Results have shown that the speed of 5G reaches over 2.2Gbps, 10 times as quick as its 4G counterpart, plus the ideal latency of nearly zero.

These achievements are offering valuable opportunities for the launch of lucrative apps implementing 5G for socio-economic development as well as smart city and e-government establishment. The new technology will also become the competitive advantage of Vietnam in attracting international hi-tech investments, aiming at creating global breakthroughs.

Based on its impressive piloting results, VNPT shared that it would not stop at merely delivering high-speed data services but rather create a digital ecosystem for its users while focusing on perfecting necessary applications for the construction of the e-government and smart cities in Vietnam.

Sharing the same enthusiasm, MobiFone stated that with its capacity and determination, it is ready to participate in the technological race with other major domestic and international telecoms enterprises.

Viettel itself displayed its high expectation when concentrating on developing its own 5G gNodeB equipment from June to December 2019. It aims at becoming the sixth in the world to supply this essential device and being more active in implementing 5G value-added services in its mobile network.

Sharing the same telecommunication infrastructure system is a feasible solution for providers as it cuts investment and maintenance costs and helps protect the environment and urban landscapes.
Currently, about 400,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) have been installed throughout the country with each network operator running its own system. Vietnamese providers were against collaborating, however, the COVID-19 crisis, which has impacted the economy, has forced them to rethink their strategies, the Ministry of Information and Communications said.

Reports showed that the number of businesses registering to suspend business for a definite time was stable, about 20%, in the first quarters of 2015-2019, but the figure soared by 26% in Q1 2020 compared with the same period last year.

Analysts found that the number of these businesses increased sharply in 15 of 17 business fields, including information technology and communication.

Telecoms have been asked to expand the capacity of Internet connection bandwidth and improve the quality of services.

In 2016, the municipal authorities, VNPT, Viettel, MobiFone and Hanoi Power Company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on investment cooperation on telecom and underground power line in 2016-2020, which says sharing the same technical infrastructure is mandatory.

In early May, VNPT and MobiFone signed an agreement on sharing infrastructure items of 700 new BTS.

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