Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has stated that it aims to auction LTE and 5G-ready spectrum this quarter to allow operators to launch 5G services next year.
Local agency Vietnam News Service quoted MIC minister Nguyen Manh Hung as saying that Vietnam was eager keep pace with other markets by launching commercial 5G services. The minister has previously suggested that Vietnam’s regulator issue spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for this purpose, but has not specified any other bands.
Since 2019, Vietnam’s biggest operators – Mobifone, Viettel and Vinaphone – have been trialling 5G services in areas of the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Last month, Viettel clocked a transmission speed of 4.7Mb/s using 800MHz of mmWave spectrum, in a trial conducted in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm.
In addition to enabling 5G launches, operators will be able to use the additional spectrum to bolster their LTE offerings. The ministry also stated its goal of achieving 100% smartphone penetration by 2023, up from 66% currently. Vietnam’s advanced device manufacturing capabilities makes this goal achievable, and the government’s pushing of 5G technology will likely spur uptake.