4G network can be a great catalyst for innovation: experts

April 19, 2017 - 09:00

The implementation of a national 4G mobile broadband network will have positive growth impacts beyond the telecommunication and the eCommerce sectors, experts say.

Youths focus on their mobile devices while walking on Đinh Tiên Hoàng street in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The implementation of a national 4G mobile broadband network will have positive growth impacts beyond the telecommunication and the eCommerce sectors, experts say.

They say that it will act as a catalyst for development for multiple sectors, and motivate entrepreneurship at all levels.

“4G broadband will significantly improve connection speed, increase users’ demand for mobile platforms, and bridge the gap between them and mobile firms looking to generate higher profits,” Trương Minh Tuấn, Minister of Communications and Information, noted at a recent press conference.

Experts agree, saying the implementation of an official 4G network nationwide will soon affect the economic activities of wireless carriers, their vertical suppliers and workers.

Investments in the 4G sector will also influence the economic activities of many national organisations, households, and individual users.

Rapid 4G development will accelerate the process through which supply and demand signals interact and create new economic activity, and boost entrepreneurial innovation.

It will give Vietnamese enterprises ample opportunities to enhance their commercial interactions towards greater productivity and jobs growth.

“Even though Việt Nam is behind some advanced countries in employing 4G, we can be sure that our technology is up to date with outstanding speed and services at a far cheaper prices to better attract users,” said Thiều Phương Nam, General Director of Qualcomm Vietnam.

“The key factors needed to support 4G are in place. For instance, 4G smart phones are very popular. In recent years 3G technology has developed strongly in Việt Nam and 3G services have very wide coverage, even in rural and remote areas, and offer acceptable speeds, while good 3G infrastructure is the most important factor in deploying 4G services,” he said.

“The popularity of 4G would help service providers cut costs and increase profits, as 3G can only afford connection speeds that are one tenth of 4G,” he added.

4G connections allow for more efficient and cost saving mobile and online interactions, creating greater value, according to experts.

Improving efficiency and quality increases the ability of both users and suppliers to communicate, transact, adapt, and innovate, leading to increased productivity and GDP growth.

It would also mean increased efficiency for smart phone users in conducting transactions, exchange information and carrying out other interactions anywhere, anytime. This can lead to increased quality and performance of goods and services.

According to a recent report by the Vietnam eCommerce Association, mobile trade and transactions have been on the rise since 2015, with 20 per cent of firms developing a mobile version of their websites and 15 per cent conducting commercial transactions through a mobile network in 2016. The report also said that 47 per cent of the firms were advertising on mobile platforms.

Additional demand stimulated by new mobile broadband offerings would justify and fuel a continuous channel of investment and market response. This will, in turn, boost employment generation by stimulating demand and promoting the formation of newly established businesses, experts have noted.

Acting on instructions from the Prime Minister, Viettel, the army owned telecommunications giant, has taken the lead in testing 4G connections in several regions since last year, showing that it would be able to offer ten times the speed of 3G at nearly the same price.

Viettel has supplied 4G services to users in Cambodia, Laos, Haiti and will officially inaugurate the network at home on April 18, 2017.

Infographic: internet
Faster returns

“In Indonesia and the Philippines, investors only needed two years to get their money back from 4G services compared to five or six years for 3G,” Trương Hoài Trang, Member of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Software Association, told Việt Nam News.

Combined with cloud computing and other advanced technologies, 4G mobile connections would reach beyond the telecommunication sector to enhance the country’s entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem in other areas, experts say.

They note that 4G mobile broadband can also supplement fixed broadband as a means of bringing certain marginalised groups like the ethnic minorities or communities in remote, rural areas into the nation’s economic mainstream.

This will strengthen the economy and sharpen national competitiveness.

Mobile broadband has already contributed significantly to Vietnamese economic growth and competitiveness, so it is reasonable to assume that the new technology will further foster innovation and development.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, 4G will support data download speeds of up to 100 Mbps when moving and nearly 1 Gbps if stationary, 10 times faster than 3G. Real time services like live streaming, live broadcast, and high-definition video will boom with 4G.

Vulnerabilities, risks

However, there will still be the risks of domestic firms becoming vulnerable to incursions by foreign competitors capitalising on their home markets to develop and provide 4G mobile networks and 4G-based devices and services.

Minister Tuấn said that “the use of 4G is an important foundation for economic development in accordance with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, though the challenges for telecommunication companies to accommodate such a change would not be light.”— VNS