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Will 5G be welcomed by Vietnamese?

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Though 4G service quality cannot satisfy customers, Vietnam is proceeding towards 5G.

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Will 5G be welcomed in Vietnam?

 

Telcos have tens of million of 4G subscribers in the last two years, but the majority of users complain that they cannot see any improvements, especially in download speed, in comparison with 3G.

One of the reasons cited by experts is that telcos still have to use the 1800 MHz frequency band which serves the 2G network as well. The frequency band has much lower capacity than the real demand, thus affecting service quality.

In 2017, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) considered granting licenses to mobile network operators for exploiting the 2.6 GHz frequency band. However, the frequency band still has not been used because of disagreement among ministries and branches.

That is why 4G service in Vietnam has wide coverage, but low speed. 

A survey by IDG found that the average data transmission of 4G network in Vietnam is 35-37 Mbps, or 3.5-4.5 times higher than 3G. 

Meanwhile, mobile network operators had said that 4G would have speed tens of times higher than 3G.

Tao Duc Thang, deputy CEO of the military telco Viettel, said that, when deploying 4G, Viettel reuses the frequency on the 1800 MHz bandwidth once reserved for 2G, because 2G subscribers have shifted to 3G and 4G. However, the reused frequencies are not enough to satisfy demand. 

In principle, the width of 5G band must be much higher than 4G. In other parts of the world, 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz or even 3.6 GHz are reserved for 5G.

While the problem still has not been solved, Vietnam plans to try 5G in 2019.

The representatives of telcos said the success of the trial use in 2019 will depend on when MIC publicizes the frequency planning. 

A report from Ericsson released recently said Vietnam’s telecommunication service providers would have the opportunity to earn $3.17 billion more, once 5G is put into operation.

The key task for mobile network operators is optimizing speed and quality, and reducing cost. With preliminary preparations, it is still impossible to calculate the 5G production costs.

While MIC has shown its strong determination to try 5G in 2019, analysts have advised telcos to think carefully about the time to launch 5G. 

A study shows that with 5G network, the capital expenditure-to-revenue would be 13-22 percent higher. But the demand for 5G is still not high.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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