Riding the wave of 5G
As planned, those network providers will pilot 5G services in 2019 and commercially offer the services to subscribers in 2020. Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said, “Based on the results of the test run, the ministry will announce the frequency planning for 5G networks and licenses will be granted to the services soon. When offering both 4G and 5G services, providers must improve the quality of mobile broadband so that Vietnam can be named among 30 – 50 top countries in the world in this field. The information and communications infrastructure will also serve the development of the digital economy.”
The minister revealed further information at the conference reviewing the task accomplishment of the ministry in the first six months of the year, saying that when Vietnam shifts to the digital platform, information and network security is paid special attention to. Regarding information and network security, 5G devices are part of the telecommunications infrastructure. At present, three corporations, namely Viettel, FPT, and Vingroup are researching and developing the 5G technology. FPT is responsible mostly for producing microprocessors while the other two are tasked with network infrastructure.
Minister Nguyen Manh Hung hoped that Viettel and Vingroup will produce commercial 5G devices, stressing that if it comes true, it will really be a vigorous development step for Vietnam’s ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) sector, as few countries in the world can produce 5G devices.
Most recently, in May this year, Viettel and Ericsson (Sweden) made the first official 5G call connection in Vietnam, marking a milestone in the history of the telecommunications sector that enables Vietnam to join other leading countries in the world in testing and offering 5G services. Viettel is expanding its 5G mobile networks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City while the other two corporations are urgently setting up their pilot 5G networks. VNPT will pilot its network in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and MobiFone intends to carry out the test run in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Da Nang cities. As for Vingroup, it will inaugurate a smartphone factory using 5G technologies in the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in the coming time.
Service providers ready for the game
Regarding the manufacturing of 5G devices, according to Deputy General Director of Viettel Hi-tech Industrial Corporation Nguyen Minh Quang, Viettel has established the Group’s Steering Committee to run the 5G project, with the involvement of 300 experienced engineers. As for the infrastructure research and development, it has a fully-equipped 4G Lab. Currently, Viettel is cooperating with a number of U.S., RoK and Indian companies to work on the manufacturing of 5G devices, and investing VND 200 billion in building a 5G Lab. The goal is to master core 5G technologies, which can be reused on many different products. It is expected that by June 2020, Microcell 5G services will have been piloted on the network. All 5G hardware and software products will be researched, developed and produced by Viettel in Vietnam. The group focuses on building a high-tech research and development team to apply the new technology to military and civilian products.
Meanwhile, VNPT is completing the last steps to pilot its 5G services. To deploy the services, the corporation has prepared strong R&D personnel, strengthened cooperation with many major technological partners in the world to learn from their experience, and got itself ready for producing 5G devices, gradually mastering the technologies like the way it did with 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
As for MobiFone, it is now providing free 5G trial services for its subscribers, meeting their need for information and entertainment. The service provider affirmed that together with partners, it is pushing a plan for its test run of the 5G network.
According to IT experts, 5G services will have big impacts on all aspects of life and help develop a digital economy, expanding the operation environment for different sectors based on the broadband infrastructure. The 5G network will also facilitate the sales of smart mobile devices and services.
Translated by Huu Duong