Vietnam will build a 5G Network by 2021

PUBLISHED ON Jun 13, 2019

Vietnam‘s 5G network will be ready by 2021.

Viettel Group, Vietnam’s largest mobile telecom operator, intends to use its own core technology to build a fifth-generation network as the state-owned company prepares to launch ultrahigh-speed wireless services by 2021.

“Viettel has invested millions of dollars to develop 5G chips and is working on developing devices with 5G chips,” a company representative told the Nikkei Asian Review on Monday.

The telecom aims to complete the trial for an initial version of a 5G broadcast station this year, then test a 5G station network by 2020 and offer products by 2021, the representative said.

About half of Vietnam’s subscribers to high-speed mobile services use those offered by the company, formally known as Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group.

Vietnam’s 5G network will place southeast Asia at the forefront of 5G competition as the tech showdown between the U.S. and China intensifies. The choice of either Western or Chinese technology could draw a dividing line in the region.

While Thailand, the Philippines and other countries lean toward Huawei, Vietnam looks to pursue its own path. Major Vietnamese telecom companies are seen to lean on proprietary or Western technology to launch their 5G services.

Viettel’s 5G efforts focus on the advanced chipsets housed inside the core element designed to process data from numerous devices connected to the network.

“As it self-develops its 5G chips, Viettel is continuing to look for more opportunities to cooperate, invest and share experiences with experts and partners, both at home and abroad,” the Viettel representative told the Nikkei.

Viettel decided to develop and produce core network equipment “to avoid the risk of being unable to support the safety and security of the national telecommunications network,” the representative said. Viettel aims to produce “80% of our telecom core network infrastructure” equipment by 2020.

Vinaphone, the country’s second-ranked operator, reportedly is preparing to collaborate with Finland’s Nokia. Third-ranked Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services One Member, also known as MobiFone, reportedly intends to work with Samsung Electronics of South Korea.

Vinaphone and Nokia agreed last year to develop 5G solutions together, and the two companies are discussing plans for an R&D center that would cover the “internet of things” and network technologies.

For the full story:  NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW