Nation to go slow on 4G roll out

Update: November, 12/2012 - 10:04

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam did not intend to encourage the application of 4G technology right now in order to ensure the investment efficiency of mobile network operators, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

The ministry said it would delay licensing mobile operators to provide fourth generation network (4G) services at least until 2015, after service providers carried out test runs and an assessment of market demand for the new technology.

According to the ministry's Authority of Radio Frequency Management (ARFM), five mobile operators had already been allowed to run basic 4G trials since 2010. 4G promises to ensure much faster mobile and internet connections than the 3G network.

Doan Quang Hoan, ARFM's director, cited a World Bank report as saying that broadband development had a great impact on economic growth.

In developed economies, every 10 per cent of the population with broadband access would bring a 1.21 per cent GDP growth rate, and in developing countries, that figure rose to 1.38 per cent.

It was expected that more than 70 per cent of broadband subscribers would be wireless broadband subscribers by 2015.

The Vietnamese telecommunications market has grown rapidly. However, the market is still controlled by the big three network providers, Viettel, Mobifone and Vinafone, that have 117 million subscribers bringing in an annual turnover of US$5.5 billion.

Meanwhile a ministry representative said that as demand for 3G in Viet Nam is still low compared to the world average, it was not a good time to provide the next generation technology. "If the number of 3G subscribers saw a 100 per cent growth rate each year from now to 2015, we would consider granting licences to mobile operators," said the representative.

According to the the ministry, Viet Nam had 16 million 3G subscribers out of its 123 million mobile phone customers. — VNS