The Vietnamese government announced it will ban importing and manufacturing of 2G and 3G phones, in a move to promote widespread adoption of smartphones to support digital transformation in the country.
In a statement, the Ministry of Information and Communications said the new rule will come in effect from July 1. However, phones that do match up to the spec requirement but were already in the country before the deadline can still be sold.
The government said the move is considered a step towards plans to switch off 2G networks by Q1 2022 and its “programme of universalisation of smartphones”.
Hoang Minh Cuong, Ministry of Information and Communications director of the Telecommunications Department, said production of phones with 2G technology had “decreased significantly” with units falling 6-7 million to 12 million, between the end of Q4 2019 to Q3 2020. Hoang tipped the remaining 12 million phones will be “wiped out” by advanced models by Q1 2022.
The country aims to have all citizens to own smartphones by 2025 by providing smartphones retailing up to $50 under its “Made in Vietnam” nationwide digital transformation programme, which was backed by operators and smartphone vendors such as Vingroup.
Market research from Adsota revealed 44.9% of the population possessed smartphones in 2020.
Vietnam announced previously to have 5G become the universal standard by 2023-2025, with operators already running pilots in preparations for a broad commercial rollout.