The Government will prioritise licencing broadband networks to develop 4G services in Viet Nam.
A customers tests VNPT’s 4G speed. — Photo xahoithongtin.com.vn
This was announced at a meeting with ministries on broadband licences for 4G network deployment chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam held in Ha Noi on Thursday.
At the meeting, representatives of ministries and relevant sectors agreed to work together to license the 2.6 GHz band as quickly as possible in order to help telecoms operators deploy the 4G network in accordance with the provisions of law.
There are currently three of four telecom providers which were granted licences to provide 4G telecommunications services in Viet Nam, namely VNPT, Viettel and Mobifone, have been deploying 4G on the 1800 MHz bandwith, which had previously been used for 2G. Gtel has yet to announce its 4G rollout plans.
The country now has more than 13 million 4G users, accounting for about 30 per cent of the total number of mobile phone subscribers. The 4G data users were mainly in cities and towns. Mobile data traffic in 2018 reached 136,934 subscribers per month, double that of 2016.
However, the data traffic for 4G network on broadband 1800 MHz has been low compared with demand, affecting 4G speed. The average speed of Viet Nam’s internet was 75th in the world.
This was why the Ministry of Information and Communications planned to auction the 2.6 GHz band so telecom services providers can boost the speed of their 4G network.
Four telecom businesses have registered for the auction.
Representatives from the ministries of Finance and Justice said there were no difficulties in term of laws and regulations relating to granting licences for 2.6 GHz broadband.
The licencing or auction follows regulations of the Law on Radio Frequencies. Issues relating to financial duties were also stipulated.
Deputy minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said the losses of businesses and society for the slow implementation of 4G network were bigger than State budget collection from licencing.
A representative from the Ministry of National Defence said the licence on 2.6 GHz broadband deployment would not only resolve difficulties for telecom providers but also ensure information in national security and defence activities.
Deputy minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai expected that ministries and sectors would join hands to grant licences to businesses as soon as possible.
“We can not accept a 4G network that is poor quality now,” Hai added.
Digital shift a must
Innovation will be a decisive factor in the survival of businesses in the future, with the size of the company becoming less important for success, experts said yesterday at a seminar held in HCM City.
“Digital shift is a must during the fourth industrial revolution,” said Phi Anh Tuan, deputy chairman of HCM City Computer Association (HCA), at the Viet Nam Information and Communication Technology Outlook seminar.
No longer will “the big fish eat the small fish, but the fast fish will eat the slow fish”, he said, adding that enterprises which quickly adopt digital applications will be more successful.
“Opportunities for digitalisation are equal in all businesses,” he said. “Businesses should be innovative in their operations, especially in the sharing economy and ecosystem, and should connect with the start-up community.”
Businesses need to build in-house start-ups or invest in start-ups with cutting-edge technologies, Tuan said.
To begin the digital shift, enterprises should start with something simple and easy to do. For example, they can start by digitising documents to reduce the printing of documents and save time for customers, he said.
Enterprises can also digitise job assignment processes, while management of companies should be based on cloud computing.
Lam Nguyen Hai Long, HCA chairman, said that new technologies like social networks, mobiles, data analysis, AI, big data, cloud computing, IoT, machine learning, and blockchain have revolutionised the way huge data is processed and used.
Recent research by the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that the digital shift will contribute US$1.16 trillion to Asia Pacific’s GDP, with an annual growth rate of 0.8 per cent.
Last year, about 6 per cent of Asia-Pacific’s GDP came from digital products and services.
“IDC forecasts that by 2021 the figure is expected to increase to 60 per cent of GDP in the region, which shows that the digital shift will bring huge benefits for the development of the economy in general, and enterprises in particular,” Long said.
According to IDC, about 84 per cent of enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region are transitioning to the digital shift, but there is no official data on the willingness for the shift among enterprises in Viet Nam.
Most enterprises need to apply IT, but they do not know where and how to start the shift.
HCA plans to promote the internationalisation of business activities and will support the business community with innovative products and solutions, Long said.
“At the same time, we are striving to improve consultancy, support and trade promotion in the IT community with local and foreign partners,” he added.
Speaking at the event, To Thi Thu Huong, deputy head of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ IT department, said that “innovation is vital for businesses as well as new start-ups, but also for state agencies that need to improve management”.
The seminar, with the theme “Innovation in the Digital Age”, included a Smart City conference, a trade promotion roundtable, and a talk show about start-ups in the digital era. Some 1,500 delegates attended the event, including State leaders, representatives of associations, institutes, schools, consulates, trade promotion organisations, IT enterprises, and members of the start-up community. — VNS