MIC orders telecom operators to increase Internet bandwidth amid COVID-19 hinh anh 1Illustrative photo.

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Information and Communications requested telecom service providers to increase internet bandwidth and improve service quality to facilitate e-learning and working-from-home during the COVID-19 pandemic at a virtual meeting on April 1.

The ministry asked the firms to adopt measures to ensure telecom networks function smoothly for effective COVID-19 response and emergencies.

It was suggested that telecom operators prepare plans for personnel and working locations during quarantine, to provide day-and-night technical assistance and prepare for a situation where one or more station is put into quarantine.

It also ordered the companies to boost the minimum internet speed and mobile data by 50 percent without hiking up rates. They are expected to launch various promotion programmes targeting different groups of subscribers.

To Dung Thai, deputy general director of VNPT Group, said the group would increase internet bandwidth to a minimum of 50Mbps to ensure customers can work remotely.

VNPT will also donate data packages for subscribers to use to increase capacity during the quarantine period.

MobiFone is going to launch a package with many promotions for subscribers on the frontline against the pandemic and those under quarantine at State-designated facilities.

They will receive 1,500 minutes of intra-network calls and 50 minutes of inter-network calls a month, along with 60GB of high-speed data. The programme will end when Vietnam announces that the pandemic is over.

VinaPhone representatives will contact hospitals and healthcare centres and steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to offer preferential packages. The supplier will also increase its Internet stations by 18 percent and core capacity by 35 percent.

In addition, MobiFone is planning to increase data for service packages of mobile users, with the aim to deploy within the next few days.

Similar to VNPT and MobiFone, Viettel has increased internet bandwidth by 1.5 to 2 times while increasing capacity of its 4G stations.

For mobile services, Viettel also raised capacity of 4G stations, ensuring bandwidth to serve 4G mobile users. The military-run group agreed with the proposal to donate data, which is expected to be about 50 percent for customers.

The group has also offered preferential calling and data to people in quarantine areas, along with numerous measures to support customers.

Specifically, it has upgraded resources and infrastructure in 178 quarantine areas in 54 provinces and cities, while running mobile Internet stations and preparing forces for network supervision.

Last week, the ministry’s Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) also asked network operators to ensure the quality of telecommunications services.

The authority made these requirements in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, when the demand for using online services such as online learning, video calls and online shopping is growing.

This has caused internet traffic carried through the national network to increase by 40 percent in the past few days.

In order to ensure the quality of telecommunication services and meet the booming demand for connectivity and online services, the authority recommended operators increase investment and upgrade broadband infrastructure.

Operators are also requested to increase coverage. In addition, they must plan to increase internet connection bandwidth while keeping rates the same.

Together with the Government and the Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnamese operators and technology enterprises are becoming an important force in the prevention of COVID-19.

Statistics of the Department of Telecommunications showed that operators have sent 13 billion messages containing information on the prevention and control of COVID-19.

The battle for internet speed among network service providers will help push the minimum internet access bandwidth in the country to a higher level.

Therefore, if the network operators agree with VNTA’s request, the country’s development indicators of information and communication industry will improve significantly./.