VN needs to accelerate deployment of 4G LTE tech

Update: August, 19/2016 - 09:00
Visitors browse a stall on the sideline of the seminar at the Mariott Hotel in Hà Nội yesterday. - VNS photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The time is ripe to deploy a 4G LTE network in Việt Nam and this can not be delayed, said former deputy minister of Information and Communications Lê Nam Thắng.

Thắng made the comment at the 4G LTE International Conference and Expo 2016, themed “Leveraging 4G Long-term Evolution (LTE) potentials and enhancing business efficiency and customer experience in the age of IoT” held yesterday in Hà Nội. The seminar aimed to discuss opportunities and obstacles in establishing 4G networks in Việt Nam

Speaking at the seminar, Thắng said the deployment of 4G LTE technology would boost the development of broadband infrastructure. He noted that a World Bank study on the relationship between broadband and economic growth concluded that a 10 percentage point increase in fixed broadband penetration would increase GDP growth by 1.21 per cent in developed economies and 1.38 per cent in developing ones.

Mobile broadband only covers about 30 per cent of the population. "We need to accelerate the development of broadband infrastructure, especially 4G technology,” Thắng said, noting that according to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standards, the speed of the 4G network will be similar to fixed copper cable networks.

Concerning the speed of 4G networks, Thắng told participants that there had long been debates about the technology’s speed. Thắng said standards for 4G LTE networks were set by ITU in 2012 and Việt Nam has yet to have its network recognised by the ITU.

Thắng said by August 2015 that 10 per cent of internet users worldwide used and in 2016, this ratio reached over 12 per cent.

Việt Nam has had 3G for seven years and 3G speed is limited, failing to meet the demands of users in big cities. To use e-government and e-office systems users need to get new technology with higher speeds.

Phan Tâm, deputy minister of Information and Communications (MIC) said according to a report of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), LTE continued to grow faster than any other mobile communications system technology. GSA also confirmed that global LTE subscriptions doubled in the past year to reach 1.29 billion in Q1 2016.

Currently, the 3G network has nationwide coverage, and the ministry has granted permission for testing the 4G LTE network. Three big network providers including Viettel, Mobifone and VNPT have been testing and finishing procedures applying for 4G utilisation.

Tâm said the Vietnamese Government wanted to help entrepreneurships and start-up businesses to develop new technologies by using 4G and the Internet of Things to enhance the country’s competitiveness. Tâm said the 4G network would open up new opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Trần Tuấn Anh. head of Policy and Planning Department, Telecommunications Authority said after deploying 4G services, network providers must boost user numbers and provide content services in combination with partners.

Anh said that investment in 4G technology needed to meet the demand of the whole society and investors should ensure service quality.

Mantosh Malhotra, regional head, Southeast Asia, Qualcomm Technologies Inc said that Việt Nam was late in deploying 4G in comparison with other countries, but more importantly, Việt Nam must deploy it effectively.

He said Việt Nam now accounted for 15 per cent of global smartphone exports and had advantages in producing phones.

According to Nguyễn Đức Trung, director of Telecommunications Authority, 4G trial licences granted to network providers, would expire on October 23 this year. The authority required them to report results.

As planned, by the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2016, the MIC will officially grant licence to deploy 4G networks. -- VNS