Bandwidth rules increasing prospects across businesses

November 03, 2021 | 16:10
With Vietnam’s long-awaited new rules to increase bandwidth, fresh business models are launching for local mobile operators and international tech players to venture further in the 5G era.
Along with mobile network providers like Viettel, other companies are intensifying work to realise 5G, photo Huu Tuan
Along with mobile network providers like Viettel, other companies are intensifying work to realise 5G. Photo: Huu Tuan

Nam Thieu, general director of Qualcomm Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, is working with his team to tap into 5G millimetre Wave (mmWave) technology after the company announced to cooperate with Viettel and Ericsson to establish a 5G data transmission speed of over 4.7Gbps, 40 times faster than 4G and twice as fast as currently available 5G speeds.

Thieu told VIR, “This marks an important milestone for Viettel and Vietnam to accelerate 5G commercialisation. It will open new opportunities for Viettel, Qualcomm, and other tech firms to run new business models.”

The milestone of 4.7Gbps is a key enabler for more advanced 5G usages like enhanced videos for livestreaming. Going beyond consumer use cases, the higher capacity, lower latency, high reliability, and security of 5G will help drive the accelerated digital transformation of many industries across Vietnam.

Vietnam is quickening the preparation for the commercial rollout of 5G, which is considered a key to smart manufacturing and digital transformation in many sectors. According to experts, with 3G and 4G, Vietnam was a latecomer, but with 5G, the country is one of the frontrunners as it was one of the first countries to announce commercial trials.

Viettel will be able to develop the new 5G mmWave-backed business models, as Thieu elaborated. “In the near future, we plan to collaborate with MobiFone to also provide optical cable internet for households,” he added.

The company is expected to be profitable for Viettel as at present, the number of traditional cable users in Vietnam remains high, while the number of optical cable users is still low.

Thus far, Viettel launched the 5G network trials in eight cities and provinces across Vietnam and aims to increase the number to 15 soon.

Along with Viettel, other mobile operators like MobiFone and VNPT could also benefit. At a recent meeting with the minister of information and communications, MobiFone sought to operate with additional frequency bands to increase its 4G and 5G capacities. Moreover, the provider aims to participate in the National Digital Transformation Programme and digital infrastructure development. MobiFone is aware of the importance of mobile money services, and is thus eyeing to invest further into this segment.

The last year marked new steps in the digital transformation of MobiFone. The company has launched a number of new products to serve the growing demands, such as MobiFone Smart Office, Smart Sales, Meeting, MobiEdu, mShop, MobiFone, and many others.

The provider also ventures further into advanced technologies of like big data, AI, blockchain, and also cloud services.

To facilitate the company’s strategies, MobiFone signed an agreement with BIDV in mid-October for the next five years. With this, the company hopes to better access soft loans.

It is estimated that services like 5G will be crucial to create a growth rate of 3 per cent annually for the telecom sector, and MobiFone could generate additional revenues of $250 million in the next five years.

Cloud computing alone is said to grow by about 60 per cent annually, and the market could reach 1 per cent of GDP, or $5 billion by 2025, according to experts.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm provides smartphone devices, chipsets, and 5G technology. The titan started with 5G about 10 years ago and now holds the most tech patents worldwide.

Thieu said, “We plan to bring the 5G mmWave technology service to help enterprises open up new business models and create new products and services, and will work with Viettel to develop new business models, including apps in smart manufacturing.”

Likewise, Ericsson is working on new plans in Vietnam in expectation of the 5G rollout in the country. These include cooperation with Swedish tech firm ABB in the development of smart factories and with Viettel, MobiFone, VNPT, and Vinaphone to accelerate 5G.

Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos stated, “What we have achieved with Viettel during the 5G trials was based on Ericsson’s new radio street macro on the mmWave spectrum. This is an easy-to-install solution to help accelerate the 5G experience in dense urban environments, while ensuring the best user experience.”

To facilitate 5G and increase bandwidth, the government in early October issued Decree No.08/2021/ND-CP governing the collection of money for rights related to bandwidth usage, auctions, licensing, and transfer of such rights.

This enables the Ministry of Information and Communications to grant 4G/5G frequencies for network operators to invest in increasing size and, especially, increasing coverage nationwide moving into next year.

Brunetti commented, “Ericsson fully supports the government’s vision and strategy in relation to the decree, and we believe that it will help drive expanded growth and use of mobile broadband data across the consumer market segment as well as industries.”

By Bich Thuy

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