Vietnam News

Vietnam to commercialize 5G nationwide this year

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Vietnamese mobile network operators have been committed to providing commercial 5G services on a nationwide basis this year.

At a meeting between Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and state-run enterprises on Sunday, Tao Duc Thang, chairman and general director of military-run telecom group Viettel, said the group would invest heavily in digital infrastructure this year.

Vietnam will put an end to 2G services by September this year, Thang said, adding that Viettel will provide 5G nationwide in 2024.

The group will invest nearly VND30 trillion (US$1.2 billion) in bands, including a system to expand the 5G service to remote areas, Thang added.

Viettel has deployed over 500 5G base stations across Vietnam, while studying, producing, piloting its comprehensive 5G ecosystem, spanning both hardware and software.

The company aims to unveil its 5G ecosystem and commence commercialization in Vietnam and beyond this year.

Since 2020, Vietnam’s three biggest mobile network operators, including Viettel, Vinaphone, and MobiFone, have launched 5G on a trial basis. They have collected necessary data for the commercialization of 5G.

A MobiFone representative told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the firm had trialed 5G in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue City in central Thua Thien-Hue Province, Nha Trang City in south-central Khanh Hoa Province, Phu Quoc City off Kien Giang Province in the south, and Hung Yen Province in northern Vietnam.

The MobiFone representative affirmed that the company would provide 5G services, such as online cloud gaming, virtual reality, extended reality, and others, to customers.

Meanwhile, VNPT said 5G services for Vinaphone subscribers have been launched in 16 cities and provinces. At present, some 18 percent of VNPT’s customers use 5G.

The company will definitely commercialize 5G this year as required by the Ministry of Information and Communications, VNPT chairman To Dung Thai confirmed, noting that the group is committed to ensuring effective service rollout through careful planning.

Many experts in the telecom sector have agreed that 2024 is the time to commercialize 5G in Vietnam due to the strong development of the digital economy and the high demand for Internet connection of not only individual devices but also Internet of things (IoT) and industrial devices.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung also confirmed at a Viettel Group conference in January that 5G would be commercialized this year.

It would have been costly to commercialize 5G four years ago. At the time, Vietnam could provide 5G coverage for 20-30 percent of the population only, the minister added. 

However, he assessed Vietnamese telecom service providers’ networks were not as developed as expected.

The minimum and average 4G speed in Vietnam reaches 10-15 and 30-40 Mbps, respectively, which are not high, Minister Hung said, requiring that the minimum 5G speed should hit 100 Mbps and the average speed should be over 300 Mbps.

The commercialization of 5G services in Vietnam is expected to spark a fresh wave of mobile services and applications, said Anh Hong, a spokesperson from the 24hStore mobile and electronic retail chain.

“We are excited about the potential for app developers to harness the full benefits of 5G,” she remarked.

By Thanh Ha & Duc Thien – Tuoi Tre News – March 4, 2024

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