VietNamNet Bridge – Telecom groups have been put under a hard pressure that forces them to upgrade the 3G service quality after they raised 3G service fees. Therefore, they have insisted on reusing 2G frequency for 3G networks.





According to Tran Manh Hung, General Director of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT), mobile networks need low frequency to ensure the upgrade the quality of the 3G coverage. Meanwhile, the current frequency reserved for 3G networks is overly high. Therefore, Hung has proposed the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) to allow telcos use low frequency bands.

Also according to Hung, it would take much time to re-plan the 00 MHz frequency band being used for 2G network. Therefore, it would be better to use the 1800 MHz frequency band for 3G.

If MIC finds the idea reasonable, it should allow VNPT to try the 1800 MHz frequency band for 3G to find out the improvement of the 3G coverage. If telcos use 2.4 GHz for 3G, it would still be feasible to upgrade 3G service quality, but the production cost would be higher.

If so, telcos would have to raise the 3G service fee further, which would certainly dissatisfy clients.

The thing that telcos need to do now is to upgrade the 3G service quality and reduce the production costs. VNPT, for example, would focus on increase the capacity and expand the 3G coverage area in the next one or two months.

Prior to that, Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Director of the military telco Viettel, said in order to build up the national infrastructure system, it is necessary to cover broadband on people first, and mostly through wireless networks.

And in order to do that thing, MIC needs to plan frequency bands for 3G. If telcos cannot use 800 MHz or 900 MHz for 3G, the plan to cover broadband mobile services on people would not come true.

In the latest news, Minister of MIC Nguyen Bac Son has requested the Radio Frequency Department to create favorable conditions for VNPT to use frequency bands to upgrade the 3G service quality on a trial basis.

Some four years ago, GSM Association also suggested using low frequency band for 3G service. Finnish Elisa said the company finds the 900 MHz frequency band very important in the next few years, because it allows the company to expand the 3G coverage to the remote residential quarters at a very reasonable cost.

French, Swiss, New Zealand authorities also tend to provide 3G service at low frequency bands. OVUM, a market survey firm, noted that if using the 900 MHz frequency band instead of the 2100 MHz, telcos would be able to cut down expenses considerably.

Research works have found that the 3G network at the 900 MHz frequency band would have the coverage area larger by 40 percent than the networks at the 2100 MHz, which have the same investment costs.

A recent survey on users’ satisfaction about 3G service conducted in three biggest cities of Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City showed that the majority of users complain about the low quality of the service. Only 55 percent of surveyed clients said they were satisfactory about the transmission speed, while 26 percent were not satisfactory and 19 percent disappointed about the speed.

Mai Chi