The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thanh Hung, headed the Vietnamese delegation at the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting, in Laos earlier this week.
The event was themed ‘Smart connectivity for ASEAN Digital Transformation’. The Ministers Meeting discussed and affirmed their determination to implement cooperation initiatives and programs to promote ASEAN digital transformation.
According to a press release, the event was held to accelerate the development of technologies and digital transformation and support the growth of other industries and fields.
The meeting reviewed cooperation programs and projects for the period 2020-2021, which identified priority areas for each country to chair, implement, and then share the results with others.
The ministers also held separate working sessions with dialogue partners to discuss collaboration programs and activities in 2020 as well as partnership in personnel training, innovation promotion, and the enhancing of capacity to deal with cybersecurity risks.
The Deputy Minister and members of the delegation had meetings to work bilaterally with ministers of several ASEAN countries to exchange and share information, as well as cooperation programs in the near future.
In particular, the issues aimed at concretising initiatives on 5G ecosystem development, cooperation, and information sharing on cybersecurity, mobile service roaming, digital innovation, start-up, capacity building, and technology transfer.
On the occasion of TELMIN on 23 October, the Viettel Group, which is Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Unitel (Laos). Over the past 10 years, Unitel has continuously developed and is the first telecom company in Laos, a key factor to bring mobile density from 18% in 2009 to 100% in 2019.
Its contribution to the state budget has accumulated nearly US $650 million. It creates jobs for more than 20,000 workers and actively participates in social programs to improve the quality of life of people.
OpenGov reported earlier that Viettel plans to roll out 5G technology in Laos by year-end. This is Vietnam’s third overseas launch of the service.
The country aims to expand this list to four Southeast Asian nations. Viettel has been testing 5G in Myanmar and Cambodia through local arms since summer, and in its domestic market since last month, seeking to offer affordable service.
According to news reports, the Viettel group member, Unitel will become the first operator to offer the 5G technology in Laos. Unitel boasts 6,000 3G and 4G base stations, covering 95% of the country. It commands more than half the local market with about 3 million subscribers.
In February this year, Unitel helped introduce SIMs to Laos, which led the country to rank 7th out of 10 ASEAN member states in terms of advanced telecommunications services.
Founded in October 2009, the Viettel subsidiary operates across all 17 provinces and cities in Laos and has led the market for eight consecutive years. It is also the Laos government’s partner in implementing the country’s key e-government systems.