Three major mobile carriers in Vietnam have recently announced information of cooperation plans with foreign partners in the roadmap of 5G implementation but no one has mentioned Huawei.
Many giant Vietnamese telecom operators are piloting fifth-generation (5G) technology on their roadmaps to commercialize 5G by 2020, aiming to name Vietnam in the list of the first 5G service providers in the world.
However, whether 5G in Vietnam may become a promising land for Huawei, the world’s largest 5G equipment provider, is a big question, according to VnEconomy.
Recently, Huawei has promoted and marketed its 5G equipment and technologies in Vietnam as an increasing number of countries and corporations around the world ban or restrict the Chinese 5G devices due to security concerns.
Will low cost “guise” be appealing?
Earlier, Huawei Vietnam Director Fine Fan told Nikkei that Huawei’s 5G equipment in Vietnamese market had no rival in terms of both quality and price.
He also believed that the Chinese company would be chosen to be a 5G equipment provider for telecom operators in Vietnam.
In fact, Huawei’s low-cost plan was not new or unique, as the company had been the largest provider of 2G and 3G networks equipment in Vietnam and took considerable advantages in the telecommunication market.
In an article published on VnEconomy in 2012, an executive of a mobile carrier shared his view that in the cutthroat competition of bidding price, many corporations around the world lost to the Chinese because their price offer was just 40% to 50% of the market price.
However, the game in 4G competition was changed and Huawei lost its lead despite the incredibly low price.
The executive of a major network said Huawei’s prices were not unbeatable anymore as other providers like Nokia offered better bids.
After Nokia bought Alcatel, a leading French telecommunications equipment company, in 2016 and became the world’s second largest provider of its kind, the scale of the company was broadened and it’s able to make cheaper equipment, as a result, the prices offered to Vietnam was also more competitive than those of Huawei.
The leader also said that before running 5G trial, the market share of Huawei’s equipment has shrunk and will decrease as his company buys 70% of the equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.
5G and no signal of Huawei in Vietnam
Three largest mobile carriers in Vietnam namely Viettel, VNPT-VinaPhone and MobiFone have been taking very positive steps in deploying 5G.
On May 10, Viettel conducted its first call using 5G technology. The Ministry of Information and Communications has licensed MobiFone to pilot 5G services and VNPT- VinaPhone is still waiting for a license.
In particular, all aforementioned mobile carriers have recently announced information of cooperation plans with foreign partners in the roadmap of 5G implementation but no one has mentioned Huawei.
Viettel announced to partner with Sweden’s Ericsson because of the Scandinavian company’s experience, prestige and their long-term businesses.
The mobile carrier is researching and investing in 5G equipment for sustainable goal and aspiration of fully master 5G technology. However, at the phase of testing and initial commercializing, Viettel is forced to import network equipment from the Swedish partner.
Another domestic giant, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, or VNPT for short, has also chosen to partner with Nokia in 5G cooperation and development since 2018.
Accordingly, both sides have set a number of labs to conduct research on technologies and solutions and application of 5G and IoT technologies.
Another agreement between VNPT and Nokia on researching, surveying, testing and deploying 5G and IoT technologies in Vietnam is underway. The agreement includes jointly modernizing VNPT's 5G and clouding-oriented networks as well as sharing information on the latest researches on technologies and products on 5G network.
The project is expected to last within 3 years.
An executive of another mobile carrier said that, in the early stage of the trial in 2019, his company is able to master the security issues, therefore, it is willing to test 5G technologies with as many companies and equipment as possible to gain experiences.
However, the company will consider only one prestige partner in the next stages of investing and broadening at a larger scale. Hanoitimes