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Vietnam to Auction Space on 2.6 GHz Spectrum

Vietnam to Auction Space on 26 GHz Spectrum
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, has urged the Authority of Radio Frequency Management to auction off space on the 2.6 GHz spectrum.

The Director of Authority, Nguyen Duc Trung, said the agency had met with representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Planning and Investment to complete the necessary procedures for the practice as soon as possible.

According to an official press release, the 2.6 GHz spectrum is an important resource to expand 4G coverage, especially in provinces and cities where there are a large number of 4G subscribers.

Vietnamese mobile networks are currently operating four mobile technologies including 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) recently said.

This causes high operating costs for businesses, and they cannot focus resources on new generation mobile technology.

VTNA also noted that radiofrequency resources are split, reducing resource efficiency and affecting the quality of services provided to customers.

The release noted that previously, the government requested the MIC to speed up the licensing process of 2.6 GHz band to deploy a 4G network for telecommunication enterprises in accordance with the law before 20 June this year.

In compliance with the government’s request for frequency band planning, the MIC will formulate a roadmap and submit to the government the suspension of 2G technology and license 5G for commercial use this year.

In July 2018, the Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, chaired a meeting with representatives of ministries and agencies to remove the difficulties in granting broadbands and improve the quality and services of 4G networks.

Currently, the release added, the bandwidth flow for 4G networks on the 1800 MHz band, which also serves 2G networks, is too low to meet the country’s actual needs, affecting the quality of 4G speed and service.

The average speed of the internet in Vietnam ranks 75th in the world. Therefore, the MIC plans to license the 2.6 GHz spectrum to enable telecommunications firms to improve their 4G networks.

The MIC licensed the state-run group Viettel to test the new 2.6 GHz frequency in 12 provinces and cities on 30 December last year.

Viettel said that in the past, to serve the needs of 4G with more than 38,000 stations amid a lack of frequency resources, the firm had to optimise the entire 1,800 MHz band of the 2G network and a part of the 2,100 MHz bands of the 3G network.

The company tested 5G in Hanoi and HCM City in May last year, and tests are expected to be completed this month, OpenGov reported earlier.

Notably, Viettel claimed that it had developed its own core technologies for 5G networks, including chips and devices. The group said it was aiming to produce 80% of the core network infrastructure needed for the network this year. The rest would come from outside suppliers.

In April 2019, Viettel said it had successfully tested a 5G broadcasting station in Hanoi at a speed of 600 to 700 Mbps, on a par with Verizon’s network in the US.

Other mobile carriers including MobiFone and Vinaphone are also expected to launch their own 5G networks next year.

MobiFone has received a licence to become the second operator to conduct 5G network testing.

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