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Vietnamese network operator successfully tests eSim service

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Ministry of Information and Communications in a press statement said that Viettel has become the first Vietnamese network operator to successfully test eSim (electronic Sim) technology on smartwatch devices.

In addition to the function of monitoring health and exercise, eSim technology also enables the watch to make calls, receive messages, and connect to the Internet.

It uses Viettel’s 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It supports voice over 4G (Voice Over LTE). With eSim technology, the watch can be operated independently in any area with mobile waves without needing to pair it with a nearby mobile phone.

This helps users feel more comfortable and be more flexible when participating in sports and outdoor activities while still keeping in touch, especially in an emergency, the release said.

Each smartwatch will have a private subscriber number or the same number as a mobile phone subscriber, which is called Multi-Sim service or One Number.

The Multi-Sim/One Number service is the trend among operators around the world when deploying voice service on smartwatches. It will be tested by Viettel in August.

The organisation is working with major smartwatch manufacturers to test devices, ensuring full compatibility when operating on its network.

It is expected that customers will be able to officially use the eSim service on smartwatches in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Deputy General Director of Viettel Network, Le Ba Tan, said that after the testing of the eSim service on mobile phones, Viettel will continue to test eSim on smartwatches in the hope that customers will soon have new experiences and catch up with the latest technology trends around the world.

It will test and apply many other advanced IoT technologies to serve the connectivity needs of people in the time to come, the Deputy General Director said.

Smartwatches in Vietnam only receive calls via Bluetooth connections with a mobile phone, but if the two devices are far apart the watch cannot field the call.

As reported earlier, even though Vietnam launched 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies later than many other countries, with the first 5G call in early May, Vietnam has become one of the world’s first countries to successfully pilot 5G mobile network.

The results of the implementation of the first official connection on Viettel’s 5G network showed that the actual data transfer rate reached 1.5-1.7 gigabyte per second (Gb/s), far exceeding the theoretical speed limit of the 4G LTE network, and equivalent to the speed of the commercial cable network at present. This is an important premise towards the commercialisation of the technology in 2020, in line with the plan set by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

In 2019, the group will continue to expand the testing of the 5G mobile network in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to get input information in service of MIC’s comprehensive assessment of the 5G technology, based on the criteria: coverage, capacity, maximum speed, and compatibility between 5G devices and the current infrastructure.

The group plans to commercialise the 5G technology in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by 2020, initially providing enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services, and then expand the coverage scale to the whole country in the following years.

5G is not just an upgraded version from old technologies but is a revolution for connection services. Therefore, the implementation strategy of this new technology will not be similar to that for 4G previously (simultaneously implemented nationwide). Instead, it will first prioritise the areas with high usage or the locations in need of replacing the cable network.

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