5G services to be commercialised in 2020
The results of the implementation of the first official connection on Viettel’s 5G network showed that the actual data transfer rate reached 1.5-1.7 gigabyte per second (Gb/s), far exceeding the theoretical speed limit of the 4G LTE network, and equivalent to the speed of the commercial cable network at present. This is an important premise towards the commercialisation of this new technology in 2020, in line with the plan set by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
Deputy Director General of Viettel Tao Duc Thang said in 2019, the group will continue to expand the testing of the 5G mobile network in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to get input information in service of the MIC’s comprehensive assessment of the 5G technology, based on the criteria: coverage, capacity, maximum speed and compatibility between 5G devices and the current infrastructure. Viettel plans to commercialise the 5G technology in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by 2020, initially providing enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services, and then expand the coverage scale to the whole country in the following years.
According to Thang, 5G is not simply an upgraded version from old technologies but is a real revolution for connection services. Therefore, the implementation strategy of this new technology will not be similar to that for 4G previously (simultaneously implemented nationwide). Instead, it will first prioritise the areas with high usage or the locations in need of replacing the cable network.
The successful testing of the 5G network connection has helped Vietnam to make great strides on the world ICT map, while enabling Viettel to temporarily take the lead in the fierce race among domestic mobile network operators. In the face of increasing “heat”, the other two big operators, VNPT and Mobifone, are also striving to accelerate the deployment of 5G. As the second network operator licensed to test 5G last April, Mobifone is urgently working with partners to make technical preparations for the piloting process. A Mobifone representative said it will implement the 5G tests in four big cities, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, and provide free 5G testing services to customers with hyper-speed data applications.
Meanwhile, VNPT has finalised the preparatory work and is asking the MIC to license the 5G trial for its Vinaphone network. Previously, VNPT signed a development cooperation agreement with Nokia Group to jointly set up a research room on technology and solutions applied on the 5G mobile network. The two sides will cooperate in testing immediately after getting the license from the MIC.
Towards mastering the technology
The 2G technology has opened an era of connectivity for mobile devices, 3G helps mobile phones connected to the Internet, and 4G liberates the power of smart mobile devices (smartphones). It can be said that these technologies have changed the lives of humanity.
As for 5G, what will happen next? This technology is capable of providing connection bandwidth 50 times as higher as the combined rate of 2G, 3G and 4G, with hyper speed and extremely low latency, almost as if in real time. Security of this technology was also implemented well during the design phase, so it will be much safer than technologies of previous generations. Therefore, 5G will open a completely new future, where everyone is connected to the Internet anytime and anywhere, and can share data in an extremely fast manner at the same speed as using a cable network, without being interrupted. In particular, 5G also creates large-scale connections for the Internet of Things (IoT). With 5G, the connection power will be maximised and everything can “raise voice”.
As a platform for connectivity, 5G will help improve the benefits of the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) through promoting the digitalisation of all industries such as manufacturing, transport, agriculture, energy, health and education. So, by bringing 5G service to Vietnam early, network operators are building a creative innovation platform for Industry 4.0, contributing to creating a new wave of socio-economic development. MIC Minister Nguyen Manh Hung emphasised that the development process from 2G to 5G has witnessed the movement in mastering technology from Europe to Asia. In the early days of 2G, there were no suppliers of devices in Asia. But now, providers of 5G devices are almost all companies from China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
As a globally integrating country, Vietnam should strive to not only consume the technology of humanity, but also to create technology, contributing to the world’s technological development. Vietnam has successfully manufactured 4G devices, so the future target is to manufacture all kinds of telecommunications devices, including 5G devices. Mobile network operators need to realise their new mission for the country, which is to construct the telecoms-information technology infrastructure to serve digital transformation, towards building a digital Vietnam.