A Viettel engineer installs infrastructure for its 5G pilot run in HCM City. Vietnamese tech firms are planning to produce chips for 5G core networks and IoT devices. Photo vietteltelecom.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Experts from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and leading IT and telecom firms shared experience and discussed the possibility of co-operation in manufacturing 5G chipsets and network infrastructure devices during a seminar in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
The seminar was chaired by Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tâm.
Vietnamese tech firms are planning to produce chips for 5G core networks and IoT devices, while researching and developing mobile phones and 5G telecommunications devices.
Only 10 countries had commercialised 5G as of September this year: South Korea, Japan, China, the US, Australia, the UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
In Việt Nam, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc urged the development of domestic technology firms and made-in-Việt Nam products earlier this year, Tâm said.
Resolution No.52-NQ/TW recently issued by the Politburo and the draft for Việt Nam’s socio-economic development strategy towards 2030 emphasised the significance of expanding tech companies, which are vital to helping Việt Nam escape the middle income trap and build a developed and independent economy, he said.
The Party and State have adopted various incentives to facilitate R&D for hi-tech products, particularly 5G chipsets and network infrastructure devices, the official noted, adding that major IT and telecoms firms in Việt Nam had started developing 5G technology.
He also called on participating firms to work together to develop 5G chipsets and devices in Việt Nam.
In addition, the MIC has licensed operators to start testing 5G technology in some major cities.
Tào Đức Thắng, deputy director general of the telecom group Viettel, said it had been developing 5G technology and network infrastructure devices – like base-transceiver stations, core networks and terminal equipment – since 2015. The group planned to complete manufacturing the first version of its 5G stations and network next year before it went into commercial operation in 2021, he said.
Ngô Hoàng Anh, a representative from the VinSmart Research and Manufacture JSC, said the company was focused on researching and producing 5G and IoT devices.
“Our company is also building labs to support research and development for 5G mobile phones and telecommunications devices,” he said.
The first 5G mobile phones were expected to hit the market in July next year, and testing for 5G devices would start in August, Anh said.
At the seminar, representatives from participating companies talked about the R&D challenges they faced as well as 5G projects.
Nguyễn Cơ Hoàng, deputy director of Viettel High Technology Industries Corporation, said that one of the difficulties was gaining consumer trust as the country had never produced a chip before from start to finish.
Viettel's second problem was the lack of design experts, who needed five to ten years experience, he said.
VinSmart had asked the Ministry of Information and Communications to provide frequencies to test its 5G devices, but that was proving difficult because it was not a network operator, said Ngô Hoàng Anh.
Deputy Minister Tâm has asked the MIC’s Radio Frequency Management Board to consider licensing certain frequencies for 5G device producers.
He said the ministry would support the development of the integrated circuit field.
The MIC has been designated to form a strategy to better define the role and responsibility of the state in promoting chipset development among Vietnamese enterprises.
In response, the ministry has asked for recommendations and suggestions from organisations and businesses to complete the plan. — VNS