Telcos eager for 5G deployment

January 15, 2019 | 09:27 am GMT+7

Local telcos are set to being testing 5G services in the first quarter of 2019, whereas associated infrastructure and terminal equipment providers stand ready for 5G commercialisation starting from 2020.


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5G has ripple effects across human life and is an constituent of the digital economy
At a recent workshop on innovations in the telecommunications field, Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung unveiled that the ministry (MIC) will allow 5G test runs in major metropolises in 2019, primarily Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
“We are planning to grant 5G frequency for test runs in 2019. In 2020, when 5G starts to be rolled out in the world, Vietnam will be one of the first to deploy the service,” Hung said. 
According to Tao Duc Thang, deputy general director at military-run telecom giant Viettel, the company will engage in the test drive launched by the MIC, which involves intensive preparations in network infrastructure, and expect the related information about frequency requirements could be soon released to allow design work and the preparation of equipment.
Thang also said Viettel has joined hands with other suppliers to engage in the study and the manufacturing of 5G equipment.
They have set the target of completing the trial production of 5G base transceiver station version 1 in 2019, striving to begin base station network tests by 2020 to be ready for commercial in the same year.
According to Tran Manh Hung, chairman of leading state-owned telecom group VNPT, in late 2018 the group had submitted its plan to the MIC to test 5G services this year, and they have also embraced the test production of 5G network equipment. 
“We are ready to provide 5G services to our customers in the shortest time after receiving the license from the MIC,” Hung said.
As for MobiFone, last year the company signed an agreement on enhancing cooperation between MobiFone Global and Samsung Electronics on technical and commercial activities related to 4G and 5G technologies in Vietnam.
In a series of meetings with the MIC, MobiFone representatives asked for permission to engage in 5G test runs and have been working with relevant equipment suppliers for test deployment plan.
From the side of manufacturers, Huawei, a leading 5G transmission network supplier, unveiled that they have secured 26 5G commercial contracts and have supplied more than 10,000 5G base station sets to markets around the world.
According to Fan Jun, Huawei Vietnam’s CEO, the company is ready to support Vietnam in the 5G era both in the experiment and test use of 5G equipment. 
As for 5G equipment, the company representative said that they will launch 5G smartphones powered with 5G chips in the first half of 2019, which will be put into use on a large scale in the latter part of this year.
Qualcomm, another major supplier, has just launched its flagship Snapdragon 855 5G chipset.
“Dozens of equipment manufacturers are working with Qualcomm on the launching of terminal equipment that supports 5G in the second quarter of this year based on our company’s 5G platform,” said a company representative.
Regarding the 5G implementation roadmap in Vietnam, Thieu Phuong Nam, director of Qualcomm Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia claimed that it is totally feasible for Vietnam to begin 5G commercialisation in 2020 after making 5G trials in 2019.
In the eyes of experts, 5G could cause a ripple effect across human life. By 2035, 5G technology could make major contributions to the global digital economy which is valued at $12,000 billion.