HO CHI MINH CITY – Vietnam next year will begin testing the fifth generation mobile network, hoping to become the leader in the so-called fourth industrial revolution – the integration of automation and rapid data communications in production.
From the capital city of Hanoi and the southern commercial center of Ho Chi Minh, the Communist state wants to upgrade its mobile network by 2020.
"Vietnam should be among the first countries to launch 5G services in order to move forward on the global telecommunication level," said Nguyen Manh Hung, the new minister of information and communication in the country.
The latest high-speed redundancy of wireless technology is designed to allow delay or latency communication of 1 milliseconds or less to achieve real-time feedback. Hanoi wants to quickly adopt technology to keep up with other countries, Hung said.
Four telecommunications companies – Vietnamobile, a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom and Hong Kong, based on Hutchinson Asia Telecom, and three state-owned Viettel, Vietnam and Telecommunications Group, MobiFone and Vietnamobile – are expected to receive 5G testing licenses in January.
Viettel wants to test the 5G next year and launch it commercially in 2020, said Phung Van Cuong, Deputy General Manager of the company.
VNPT has merged with Nokia for the development of telecommunications technology, including 5G.
MobiFone, which lagged behind its competitors in introducing 4G, signed an agreement with Samsung Electronics at the beginning of this year to promote technical and commercial collaboration on the 4G and 5G networks.
In July, Ericsson, the world's largest mobile broadband supplier in the country, upgrades its network in Vietnam from 2G to 3G to 4G, first introduced the 5G in the country in collaboration with the Vietnamese Radio Frequency Management Agency.
Vietnam is among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of mobile broadband subscribers in international telecommunication networks in 1990, three years after it developed 2G. However, by 2017, it fell to 115th place out of 193 countries, with 3G and 4G being introduced for other countries. Vietnam has finally advanced on 3G and 4G, but has about a decade for these standards, which are usually elsewhere.
The government believes that the telecommunications industry is sensitive and licensing is complicated. This slowed down his development. Hung, who is the former president and chief executive of Viettel's military support, hopes to simplify the approval process in order to stimulate the information technology sector in Vietnam, in particular for products carried out on the domestic market.
For 2G and 3G, Vietnam relied exclusively on imported equipment, but began to produce 4G devices locally under the guidance of Vietel. Hung suggested measures to help domestic technology companies develop equipment. He set an ambitious goal for Vietnam to become the major exporter of 5G equipment.
The telecommunications market in Vietnam was estimated at more than $ 16 billion in 2016, with three state-owned providers accounting for 95% of the market. This year Vietel had the largest share with 46.7%, followed by Mobifone with 26.1% and VNTP with 22.2%.
While MobiFone and VNPT are on the list of state-owned enterprises to be privatized by 2020, Viettel will remain in government hands.