Vietnam is expected to quickly develop the 5G network through an infrastructure sharing model.
Recently, at the Ministerial Roundtable of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), discussion of investment in 5G networks heated up again. Ministers emphasized the importance of 5G as a national digital infrastructure and the need to accelerate 5G coverage.
Mr. Petr Ocko, Deputy Minister in charge of Digitization at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, emphasized the importance of digital infrastructure and digital services as the key to increasing the resilience of the economy and society, promoting post-Covid recovery, helping citizens and businesses in many aspects of their lives. Attention should be paid to issues such as technical standards, synchronization between digital communication infrastructure and other strategic infrastructures, transformation of telecommunications infrastructure, and a general viewpoint about the digital economy of the future. It is important to inform people about 5G network and its benefits.
Brazil plans to expand 5G networks in all major cities by June 2022. Currently, all cities in this country have mobile coverage in urban areas, with 95% covered by 4G services, and the rest by 3G services. From November 4, the Brazilian Government will open a 5G auction to provide spectrum in four different frequency bands. It is expected that the auction will attract both world and regional giants. “The government has always been committed to accelerating digital transformation,” said Artur Coimbra, Head of the Telecommunications Department, Ministry of Communications of Brazil.
Meanwhile, Abdelkader Batayneh, Director of Policy and Information, Ministry of Economy and Digital Enterprises, of Jordan emphasized the role of new technologies such as blockchain, 5G, and submarine fiber optic cable. These are digital technologies that are at the top of the government agenda.
Huynh Quang Liem, General Director of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT), said that countries with good digital infrastructure can reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 by up to 50%. The Vietnamese government has defined digital infrastructure as a pillar of the digital economy.
Currently, mobile networks in Vietnam cover 99.8% of the population. However, Internet access in rural areas is still limited. For example, many villages do not have broadband Internet and 30% of households have not installed a fixed Internet network.
The influence of 5G networks on digital transformation is considered a decisive factor. Vietnam is taking the first steps in piloting 5G networks. However, network operators encounter problems similar to countries that are going ahead in 5G development, such as investment costs, frequency licensing, and not having enough users to make a profit.
Vietnam’s initiative to quickly expand 5G coverage
At a meeting with ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao within the framework of World Digital Expo on October 13, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung introduced Vietnam's solution to quickly expand 5G coverage. Accordingly, each of four network operators in Vietnam will develop its own 5G network to cover 25% of the population. These 5G networks will then be roaming in the first 2-3 years of operation. This model helps carriers to reduce investment costs and quickly deploy 5G networks to benefit themselves and the country.
Huynh Quang Liem, General Director of VNPT, said that Vietnamese carriers are sharing many base stations, and they can use 5G equipment infrastructure to optimize investment efficiency and better serve customers. Network design and 5G technology allow carriers to cooperate and share 5G telecommunications equipment.
"I think that it is not easy to collaborate on sharing 5G equipment, but today's technology allows us to do it. Therefore, carriers can work together to take another step in cooperation in sharing 5G equipment in order to reduce investment costs and jointly develop 5G networks quickly, not just sharing base stations," VNPT’s Liem said.
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General, said the renaming to ITU Digital World is a great initiative of Vietnam reflecting the importance of digital technology in the communications ecosystem.