Deployment should not be delayed any further, Ministry says.
Technology in Vietnam is able to meet the technical demands of 4G LTE (4G), Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Le Nam Thang said. “However, from and economic viewpoint, we still need to consider other factors,” he added. elecom providers would initially test broadband of 1800 MHz in 2015, then a year later bidding for 4G would begin, he said.
In explaining the time-frame for accelerating 4G in Vietnam, he said the technology was developing rapidly around the world, with nearly 500 million subscribers and over 2,400 support facilities. “The right conditions are the essential foundation for developing 4G in Vietnam,” he emphasized.
Moreover, 3G developing widely in Vietnam was another advantage for the deployment of 4G despite there still being problems with 3G, he said. Even so, it is necessary to have the speed and security of 4G if Vietnam is to develop e-commerce on mobile phones.
Of a similar mind, the General Director of Qualcomn Indochina, Mr. Thieu Phuong Nam, said that this is the perfect time to deploy 4G in Vietnam because 3G has spread out to one-third of the population. There are more smartphones that can support 4G and the investment cost for 4G is now much lower than in previous years.
Besides, 4G will bring in a new era for online activities, with homes, cars, and medical and educational facilities all having access. “Only 4G can be the technological foundation for deploying applications online,” Mr. Nam said.
Nonetheless, there are questions over whether Vietnam is acting hurriedly in deploying 4G because telecom providers are still to see a return on their investment in 3G.
But Mr. Nam said 4G would develop on the foundations of 3G and they could support each other, so developing 4G would not be at the expense of 3G.
Though Mr. Nam urged Vietnam to develop 4G as soon as possible, Deputy Minister Thang is concerned over whether Vietnamese can afford the devices needed to use 4G. He therefore reminded telecom providers that they must have a careful strategy.