Developing smart cities in Vietnam

Monday, 2019-02-18 18:23:51
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Viettel applies technology to operate and exploit the global network. (Photo:Thanh Tung)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – During the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), building smart cities is a trend deployed by cities around the world to solve urban problems. Recently, a number of research projects on developing the model in Vietnam have obtained initial results. However, in fact, it is necessary to develop smart city development solutions suitable for each city as well as the whole nation.

Ready resources

The idea of building a smart city completely owned by Vietnamese people is now feasible, Deputy General Director of the Viettel Business Solutions Corporation (Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group) Vo Anh Tam affirmed. Currently, Vietnam has the full technical infrastructure and technology platform to implement the projects and Viettel can provide all necessary solutions to build a smart city for each locality, he added.

Up to now, Viettel has deployed a system of monitoring centres for traffic control and public security. According to Deputy General Director Vo Anh Tam, it is a solution to manage traffic, public transport, social order and security situation in the area, through images. The image is transmitted from thousands of high-quality cameras located throughout the city. The system also receives information from the functional forces, people, social networking and cyberspace platforms. Every time there is a problem, the system will analyse images and classify alerts and give a solution. Currently, Viettel has also developed other solutions: public administrative supervision, environmental monitoring and Health records, through which to fully exploit the overall ecosystem of Smart City solutions.

In order to fully grasp the Smart city technology, since 2011, Viettel has directed the application of information technology and telecommunications in all areas of life. But the construction of solutions for Smart cities is not simply the application of information technology to administrative or production management as many people believe, but also contributes to the formation of an ecosystem. In order to build a Smart city in Vietnam, it is necessary to depend on many factors, especially the consistency of the general management system, through which platforms can interact and exchange data to help improve operational efficiency in urban areas. Therefore, Viettel has carefully prepared when implementing the ministerial-level scientific research project, and proposed the overall architectural framework of a Smart city in Vietnam with six main factors and 18 specialized fields.

Meanwhile, Viettel also helped some provinces and cities (Da Nang, Thua Thien - Hue, Phu Tho ...) build the overall architecture and specialised architecture and outlined the roadmap to deploy a Smart city. In early June 2016, Hue smart city operations centre was officially launched and many other provinces and cities have contacted Viettel to propose cooperation plans. Many businesses and government agencies of some countries in the region have also come to learn from the experience of building and developing this model.

After Viettel, there are units such as FPT, VNPT and many other technology enterprises participating in Smart City implementation. It is considered a good signal because Smart city is a large new field in Vietnam, so having more than one supplier will bring better solutions. However, there are currently no common standards, master plans, or architectural frameworks for units to implement a Smart city. In order to solve this problem, according to experts, businesses need to join hands in cooperation and offer appropriate solutions on urgent problems in urban areas, aiming to offer good utilities of smart cities to the people.

Taking advantage of opportunities

According to the definition of the International Telecommunication Union, "A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects".

The conversion to Smart cities will allow state agencies to function and provide more efficient services, positively impacting all areas of life. In the new Smart cities will also promote the emergence of new urban service models, applying new business models.

However, in Vietnam, depending on the needs and investment capacity, each locality will select specialised smart fields to introduce into the overall architecture. The deployment of Smart cities in Vietnam is completely different from the cities around the world, because the other cities already have the telecommunications infrastructure and the perfect technology, which has formed a digital awareness for both the government and the people. Meanwhile, if cities in Vietnam use the same model and ways of deploying as other countries, it will be difficult to succeed because of a lack of infrastructure, digital awareness of the people and system synchronisation.

In order to build a Smart city successfully in Vietnam, it is necessary to soon build a national legal framework and standards for smart city infrastructure, data and equipment to link the region. Furthermore, it is necessary to pilot the model for research and replication, monitor mechanisms to ensure international standard construction, and stimulate startup ecosystems and small and medium-sized companies in accessing the market to provide information technology services to the Government. In addition, localities need to build data centres, develop open ecosystems, ensure network infrastructure, synchronous links with regions and countries, attract talents and train domestic human resource in accessing international technology on Smart cities.

Building a Smart City, through shaping Vietnam's capacity and position on the world's technology map, cannot be based solely on the determination of the providers of solutions, but the support of the State, scientists, people and enterprises in solving obstacles and maintaining close coordination with each other. In particular, the State plays an important role in policy making and creating mechanisms to support enterprises to build and develop Smart cities. This is also a way for Vietnam to catch up with Industry 4.0.