Vietnam is anticipating strong development in broadband communications, an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) official said on the sidelines of the Vietnam 2011 ITU Conference, in Hanoi on June 1.

Mario Maniewicz, ITU Development and Policy Director, affirmed his organisation’s willingness to help Vietnam build policies and strategies for the development of broadband services nationwide.

Vietnam is enjoying one of the world’s fastest growth rates in terms of telecommunications, and telecommunication services –particularly broadband – will develop further in the next five years, delegates from foreign businesses and international organisations agreed at the event themed, “Getting Vietnam online, with broadband for all”.

Mario Maniewicz suggested Vietnam telecommunication firms focus on development of broadband services at schools, especially in rural, remote areas, with an effort of narrowing development gaps between areas.

The country saw a strong growth in broadband services over the past five years, increasing the number of subscribers from 210,000 in 2005 to 3.6 million in 2010, said Pham Manh Lam, Vice Head of the Ministry of Information and Communication’s Information-Communication Strategy Institute.

The ministry is devising a policy to support the development of the services nationwide. By 2015, Vietnam is expected to basically complete the broadband network to communes and wards nationwide, provide internet links to all schools and provide coverage of broadband mobile services to 85 percent of the population.

The country is striving to complete the broadband network at most villages nationwide and provide broadband mobile service coverage to 95 percent of the population by 2020.

Deputy Minister Tran Duc Lai highlighted the positive impacts on sustainable and thriving economic growth from the building and development of the broadband services, affirming the Government of Vietnam’s priority to the development of telecommunications and creation of favourable conditions for the country to become an attractive, trusworthy destination of investment and business for foreign investors, especially telecommunication and IT groups./.