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Vietnam Witnesses Surge In Demand For 5G Services

Many provinces have requested the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to direct corporations to urgently assess the using demand, feasibility, and investment efficiency to deploy 5G coverage in their provinces. The Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) said enterprises including Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone had officially tested commercial 5G services from November last year.

However, based on the needs of the market, telecom businesses are focusing on coverage in big cities such as Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City. The bigger cities have dense populations and the highest percentage of people having 5G terminals nationwide and some localities with industrial parks such as Bac Ninh and Bac Giang.

According to a press release, the 5G trial plan depended on the strategy and production and business plan of each enterprise, said VNTA. This is not the first time that provinces and cities have petitioned for 5G coverage. The department of information and communications of many provinces such as Phu Tho, Dak Lak, and Binh Phuoc last year also asked the Ministry to direct telecom corporations to urgently approve and direct provincial departments to develop 5G networks in industrial parks and residential areas.

VNTA said that based on the test results and proposals of enterprises, the Ministry of Information and Communications would study and grant licences to enterprises to deploy 5G mobile networks. It is expected that priority will be given to industrial parks, high-tech parks, and concentrated information technology parks to deploy breakthrough innovative digital technologies. The authority also suggested that the departments of information and communications actively co-ordinate with mobile businesses in the area and the authority to identify areas that need to be prioritised for infrastructure investment. This would direct and guide mobile businesses to prioritise infrastructure investment to provide mobile services using 5G technology, the release added.

Currently, mobile data charges in Vietnam are among the lowest worldwide, equal to just 30% of that in India. This is a concern as 5G is now available in the country. According to Nguyen Phong Nha, Deputy Head of the Telecommunications Department, mobile operators are facing pressure on revenues from older telecommunications services as traditional voice and text communications are being replaced with more cutting-edge technology.

As OpenGov Asia had reported, Internet services do not create as much profit as expected due to their growing popularity and decreasing charges. Traditional telecom service providers should enlarge business operations, thus enabling them to have new sources of revenue.  In the wake of this, Vinaphone, Viettel, and MobiFone are rushing to get licenses for 5G network testing. Last December, Vinaphone became the first to receive a license for the commercialisation of 5G in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Since then, Vinaphone has been developing the necessary infrastructure to widen 5G coverage. In February, over 17,000 Viettel mobile subscribers registered with the company’s 5G promotional package. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 30 major cities and provinces, industrial parks, and urban areas will be covered with 5G. And by 2025, Viettel will deploy 5G on a wider scale towards reaching national coverage by 2026.

Thus far, Viettel has also invested in the development of digital platforms, including the Viettel AI Open platform, Viettel Cyberbot, Viettel Data Mining Platform, and Viettel AI Camera for Transportation, among several others. It is estimated that by 2025, 5G will make up around 20% of the world’s total number of mobile subscriptions.

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