Viettel Group is going to pilot 4G technology in October, said Do Minh Phuong, deputy general director of the Viettel Group.

Plans call for Viettel to set up 12,000 4G base transceiver stations no later than in the first quarter of next year, he added.

The 4G network will first offer services in communes, followed by districts, provinces and cities.

However, Viettel users will have to change SIM cards if they use 4G services, though phone numbers will remain the same.

Le Dang Dung, Viettel deputy head, sent a proposal to the Ministry of Information and Communications to grant a licence for 4G services for Viettel this year, which it can officially implement beginning in 2016.

Viettel moved forward on the proposal because Vietnam is already later than other ASEAN countries in offering 4G technology, and extending the trial time will delay introducing the service in Vietnam.

The group has also piloted the technology in Laos and Cambodia.

Though costs for 4G are the same as 3G, network providers hope to see profits, even if their 4G price is equivalent to 3G prices, the quotes Thoreau Phuong Nam, general director of Qualcomm Vietnam.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, the data transfer speed of 4G LTE (long term evolution) is 12,000 times faster than 2G, while costs could be 99 percent less.

Viettel plans to invest in 23,000 BTS by the end of this year, consisting of 8,000 3G BTS, 3,000 2G BTS and 12,000 4G BTS.

The company will own a network with 90,000 BTS by the end of 2015.-VNA