Priorities needed to facilitate 4G network deployment in Vietnam

Thursday, 2018-07-26 16:07:44
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam urges related ministries and agencies to discuss solutions to the problems of licencing the 2.6 GHz band for the deployment of a 4G network. (Photo: VGP)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – Priorities are needed to licence the 4G deployment on the 2.6 GHz band, aimed at promoting the technology at the fastest possible rate in Vietnam, heard a workshop in Hanoi on July 26.

The event, under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, gathered representatives from relevant ministries and agencies to discuss avenues for promoting the development of 4G networks in Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), by the end of 2016, the ministry had licenced five enterprises (VNPT, Viettel, Mobifone, Vietnamobile and Gtel) to deploy 4G on the 1800 MHz band.

Up to now, all except for Gtel have officially offered 4G services to users. In particular, VNPT and Viettel have deployed 4G on the 1800 MHz band with bandwidths of 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz, while Mobifone deployed a 10 MHz bandwidth.

After more than a year of 4G deployment, over 13 million mobile broadband subscribers have joined the network, accounting for nearly 30% of total mobile subscribers, mainly in cities and towns. The average mobile data exchange rate for 2018 has reached 136,934 subscribers a month, doubling since 2016.

However, delegates at the meeting argued that the bandwidth traffic for 4G networks in the 1800 MHz band is still too low to meet the actual demand, while affecting service quality and 4G network speed.

Therefore, the MIC has developed a plan to licence the 2.6 GHz band for telecommunications to deploy a 4G network and four operators currently serving 4G in Vietnam have registered for the plan.

A representative from the ministry said that the Prime Minister has approved the list of bands for auction, but issues have arisen during the process of implementation.

Delegates discussed difficulties related to the process and the procedures for deploying the 2.6 GHz band auction and determining reserve price, while proposing measures for the effective implementation of 4G in Vietnam.

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice said that there were no problems with the provisions of the law relating to the licencing of the 2.6 GHz band. All forms of licencing and auction are compliant with the Radio Frequency Law. The financial obligations are also regulated by the law.

According to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Vu Dai Thang, losses for businesses and society from delays to the deployment of the 4G network are much larger than the revenue from licencing.

Urging swift action on licencing 4G on the 2.6 GHz band, a representative from the Ministry of Defence said that the licencing is not only to solve the pressing problem for telecommunication enterprises but will also ensure information security which serves national defence.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Pham Hong Hai, expressed his hope that ministries and agencies concerned would promote a consensus in dealing with the procedures for early licencing.

Delegates agreed that relevant authorities should work together closely to make the fastest decision to licence the 2.6 GHz band for telecoms operators to deploy the fastest possible 4G network, in accordance with the provisions of law.