Telecom groups are putting a top priority on developing services for the 3G platform, while continuing to view 4G technology as important but one that cannot be implemented soon because of a lack of demand, the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge reported on August 13.

“Developing 4G would be not too costly. However, VNPT has not geared up to implement the 4G technology development project because the demand for 4G is still not strong enough,” the news portal quoted a senior executive of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group as saying.

Investment capital needs to be spent reasonably to optimize profits, not to “show off” one’s power, he added.

He said that “3G technology is still more than enough to satisfy the domestic users’ demand for mobile data.”

It is clear that VNPT remains indifferent to the 4G deployment plan, even though several years ago, they repeatedly urged the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) to grant licenses for 4G services sooner than initially planned in 2015, saying that “Vietnam would lag far behind the world” in the application of advanced telecommunication technologies.

VNPT and other telcos all decided that they should pour more money into developing 3G-based services.

In late July, VinaPhone, one of the three largest mobile networks in Vietnam, stirred up the public with the statement that VinaPhone, after a period of working on technical solutions, has succeeded in increasing the 3G data download speed up to 42 Mbps, which is six times higher than the current speed.

Meanwhile, Viettel Telecom has launched a campaign to popularize the group’s 3G services. The military telecom group announced that it had 9 million new 3G subscribers in the first seven months of 2014.

An MIC report showed that 25 percent of the population in the country now uses 3G services.

An expert said this is a small figure, which makes telcos think that the 3G market is still large enough for them to exploit.

“The 3G market still has a lot of potential, while the demand for 4G is not big enough. That is why telcos still gather their strength in 3G services,” he was cited as saying.

Meanwhile, Thieu Phuong Nam, CEO of Qualcomm Vietnam, thinks that telcos should not only focus on developing 3G services, but also should think about the 4G deployment plan.

Nam agrees that telcos should continue investments to develop 3G services, but he said they should also begin developing 4G at the same time.

“When you prepare for 4G, this does not mean that you stop developing 3G. The two need to be done concurrently,” he noted.

He said that 3G services will still exist for a long time, even if when 4G services are available.

He added that GSM 2G had existed for the last 20 years even after 3G technology became widely used worldwide.

A report showed that 300 new 3G networks have been launched globally, while another 500 networks are about to be put into operation.-VNA