Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam urges related ministries and agencies to discuss solutions to the problems of licencing the 2.6 GHz band for the deployment of a 4G network. (Photo: VGP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam now has more than 13 million 4G users after over a year of the service's deployment, accounting for about 30 percent of the total number of mobile phone subscribers, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

The 4G data users were mainly in cities and towns. Mobile data traffic in 2018 reached 136,934 subscribers per month, double that of 2016, the MIC said at a meeting on broadband development in Hanoi on July 26.

However, the data traffic for 4G network on broadband 1800 MHz has been low compared with demand, affecting 4G speed. The average speed of Vietnam’s internet was 75th in the world.

Therefore, the MIC planned to auction the 2.6 GHz band so telecom services providers can boost the speed of their 4G network.

Four telecom businesses have registered for the auction.

At the meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, representatives of ministries and relevant sectors discussed difficulties related to the process and the procedures for deploying the 2.6 GHz band auction and determining reserve price, while proposing measures for the effective implementation of 4G in Vietnam.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said the losses of businesses and society for the slow implementation of 4G network were bigger than State budget collection from licencing.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai expected that ministries and sectors will join hands to grant licences to businesses as soon as possible, while stressing “We can not accept a 4G network that is poor quality now.”

A representative from the Ministry of National Defence said the licence on 2.6 GHz broadband deployment will not only resolve difficulties for telecom providers but also ensure information in national security and defence activities.

Representatives from the ministries of Finance and Justice said there are no difficulties in term of laws and regulations relating to granting licences for 2.6 GHz broadband.

The licencing or auction follows regulations of the Law on Radio Frequencies. Issues relating to financial duties were also stipulated.

Delegates agreed that relevant authorities should work together closely to to licence the 2.6 GHz band as quickly as possible in order to help telecoms operators to deploy the 4G network, in accordance with the provisions of law.

According to the MIC, by the end of 2016, the ministry had licenced five enterprises (VNPT, Viettel, Mobifone, Vietnamobile and Gtel) to deploy 4G on the 1800 MHz band.

Up to now, all except for Gtel have officially offered 4G services to users. In particular, VNPT and Viettel have deployed 4G on the 1800 MHz band with bandwidths of 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz, while Mobifone deployed a 10 MHz bandwidth.-VNA