Standing in good stead to lead a digital revolution

December 17, 2021 | 14:00
Vietnam has long stated its plan to provide 5G coverage nationwide by 2030. It focuses on the ability to offer all citizens lightning-fast speed internet connection at low cost, and it remains the country’s first priority.
Standing in good stead to lead a digital revolution
Vaibhav Saxena - Former co-chairman, Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has been leading the initiative of commercialising 5G technology in Vietnam. Across the nation, the roll-out of 5G service coverage will witness a systematic approach. High-tech cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang have been prioritised to deploy 5G due to their increasing demand for high-speed telecom services and with a large chunk of the population, with significant density.

Industrial corridors in Vietnam are also expected to attract foreign investment in the sector and the need for smart cities and factories is becoming a necessity with time.

In a recent directive, the prime minister stressed improving Vietnam’s ranking in the Global Cyber Security Index by having agencies, organisations, and state enterprises implement comprehensive solutions to ensure network safety and security. Local players will be deeply rooted in technological advancement to ensure state secrets and the role will be pivotal in sensitive sectors.

In 2019, the Politburo issued Resolution No.52-NQ/TW on the orientation and proactive policies for Vietnam’s participation in Industrial Revolution 4.0. It sets a target of having countrywide 5G network spectrum range cover in place by 2030 in order to facilitate the growth of a new Vietnam by providing further exposure and access to global telecom facilities to all citizens via quick access to high-speed broadband internet services at an affordable cost.

According to the MIC, 5G technology would bring a new economy, helping the country create a series of new products for smart cities. In the past, the MIC licensed three large mobile service providers (Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone) to pilot trial 5G services in the sizable cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Haiphong. Those telecom companies have been testing 5G services with their users’ base since the end of last year.

Telecom companies crave to apply new and efficient technology to boost their revenue streams. Last year, companies like Viettel and MobiFone saw a minute increase in their revenues from mobile voice-calling services. Meanwhile, revenues from data services created a steep upward curve in the profit generation for the telecom operators in Vietnam. If we compare the global scenario in data services arena to the present, mobile data service charges in Vietnam are among the lowest worldwide.

This remains a concern as 5G, being the fifth generation tech, is now available in the country. In September, we saw that Viettel launched a 5G network spectrum in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, making it the eighth locality on soil with 5G capabilities.

Vietnam wants to be a future leader globally by creating its mark as a digital, stable, and prosperous economy. With that, the process of national digital transformation is initially proposed to be carried out in three phases. Phase 1 for 2020-2022 is the digitisation of industries and digital transformation of the economy, society, and state agencies to increase productivity and create new sources of growth. Phase 2, covering 2023 to 2025, will enhance the competitiveness of the economy through digital transformation, and Phase 3, covering towards the end of the decade, is the development of a comprehensive digital economy and society.

This digital revolution could potentially invite over $74 billion investment to Vietnam by 2030. Among others, some of the high-valued and benefitting factor sectors are expected to be manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, and education training.

It has been a remarkable vision by Vietnam to stand as the second-fastest-growing internet economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. The current pace of the country will enable it to achieve greater goals and transform itself as the technology hub in the region.

By Vaibhav Saxena - Former co-chairman, Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam

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