It has been announced that Vietnam will work on providing 4G connectivity, running services on a trial system next year and then making it officially available in the year 2017.
This was announced recently by Tran Tuan Anh, Ministry of Information and Communications at a conference in Hanoi. Three cities and provinces will be allowed for each licensed company, during the one-year trial.
4G services are being stalled as the state-owned operators are working to recover investments made in 3G. Private Telecom companies are calling for the plan to implement 4G to be accelerated.
It is believed that the current services provided are hurting Vietnam’s competition in the market. Mai Liem Truc, the former Deputy Telecommunications Minister, had said that this plan for trials in the next year would not be carried out quick enough.
The global 4G penetration was estimated at 10.4 percent at the end of the third quarter of this year.
The country is bound to upgrade its telecommunications to high speed services. Vietnam has a rapid growing market of more than 136 million mobile subscribers. We recently reported that Vietnam was also recognised as one of the country's with the greatest number of internet users. With this, there is an increasing need for greater quantities of data transmissions and higher speeds.
There are voices on both sides responding to the proposed plan. On one side, Vietnam is urged not to rush into implementing 4G. On the other, if this plan is not accelerated, the country will fall behind others in the region whom have already transitioned to 4G.
If 4G is launched when it is not very popular, carriers in Vietnam will have to pay higher input costs and charge consumers an increased rate. This will create the same issue faced by state-owned operators, yet, across the whole telecommunications market.