Vietnam wants to be the first country in Southeast Asia to provide the service. The government has granted the license to test the new networks to Viettel, a state-owned group. But despite the success, citizens do not yet enjoy freedom of communication.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Hanoi has finished building the infrastructure and conducted the first tests on the 5G network in Ho Chi Minh City. As part of the plan to modernize the country and reach other developed economies, Vietnam hopes to be one of the first nations to jump on the bandwagon of what experts call the "fourth industrial revolution". The Party looks at the new generation of mobile telephony as an engine for economic growth, business development and the improvement of people's lives. Hanoi's ambitious plan - for some unrealistic - is to commercially launch 5G by 2020, becoming the first Southeast Asian country to provide the service.
The Vietnamese government granted the first license to test the new networks to Viettel, the largest mobile operator in the country. A state-owned company wholly owned and managed by the Ministry of Defense, the company has over 60 million subscribers for a total population of almost 100 million. On August 8, Viettel completed the first tests in Ho Chi Minh City, the most populous city; at the moment, it is installing 10 5G stations in the 12th district of District 10. The operator is assisted by Ericsson, a Swedish multinational that operates in the supply of communication technologies and services, software and infrastructure.
Tào Đức Thắng, deputy general manager of Viettel, at the end of the tests said: "The goal is to help customers and citizens of Ho Chi Minh City to soon exploit the possibilities of 5G technology. This verification process is the basis for a complete evaluation of the 5G network, before proceeding to commercialization in 2020". The government celebrates the maturity and technical strength of Viettel. However, although it is developing the fifth generation of the mobile communications system, the country still does not enjoy freedom of communication and is a prisoner of the economic system of a dictatorial regime. But for many Vietnamese, the latest telecommunications success is able to create trust among the population and help Vietnam to escape the influence of the "Northern Neighbour" - China.