Proper steps for Vietnam's 4G service eyed hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source:
Le Nam Thang, former Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, has advised network providers to make a careful calculation on the demand for 4G (fourth-generation network) implementation.

Representatives from the Ministry of Information and Communications, network providers including Vinaphone, Viettel, MobiFone and Vietnamobile, 4G device producers and experts in telecommunication and economy gathered at a recent seminar titled "How does Vietnam go to 4G?" in Hanoi.

All users want good technology with high quality and wide coverage area, which is the same as all people want to travel by luxurious cars such as Audi and BMW, but the important thing is that we should consider the general social development, Thang said.

The market is the decisive factor on whether the service is successful or not, he said.

Producers have talked a lot about how it is time to implement 4G, which will allow wireless Internet access at a higher speed than 3G. However, the former minister recommended telecom service providers should not be hasty, given the experience from the deployment of 3G.

3G was implemented in 2010 but it just became popular in recent years as more people use smartphones and tablets in Vietnam.

Devices for 4G in Vietnam are rather costly at this time, which is not suitable with Vietnamese finances.

Besides market demand, two other decisive factors for the deployment of 4G include technology and ecosystem, said Thang.

It is important to check whether the technology is popular because if we deploy the technology too early, the price of devices and fees will be expensive. On the contrary, if we deploy late, we will slip as the world will move to another technology, he said.

The total subscription of 4G LTE and LTE Advanced hit 700 million users in the world, accounting for 10.4 percent of mobile subscription world-wide by the third quarter in 2014.

When the percentage of mobile subscription is at between 10 and 15 percent, the technology is considered popular.

Pham Anh Chien, director of VTV Digital said that to successfully deploy 4G, the ecosystem and content should be strong enough.

If for 2G, ecosystems are calling and SMS and 3G's ecosystem is Internet, the ecosystem of 4G will be media.

A company is expected to provide television services and high-quality calling to the market, therefore, it needs the handshake with content providers to be able to offer the best service, he added.

Tran Tuan Anh, representative of the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority under Ministry of Information and Communications said that the ministry may grant licences for three businesses asking for trial 4G services.

Representatives of VNPT-NET and Viettel said they are ready to pilot 4G.

Ho Chi Dung from Viettel said that the group will draw experience from the deployment of 3G to deliver the best 4G services based on user's experience and creative data services.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Nam Long, Deputy Director of VNPT-NET also confirmed the 4G technology has matured and the corporation is waiting for a trial licence to provide services to the market.-VNA