Vietnam, ASEAN countries meet to discuss 5G network plans

November 29, 2021 | 10:12 am GMT+7

Many ASEAN countries are planning for 5G network frequencies. Each country has its own choice, so policymakers are looking for solutions to harmonize the spectrum in the region.


The Ministry of Information and Communication recently held a webinar on spectrum harmonization for 5G in ASEAN countries.

The seminar was attended by the world's leading experts in mobile communications from GSMA, Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, Nokia, Axiata, Windsor Place Consulting, frequency management agencies of ASEAN countries and agencies under the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications.

ASEAN countries are giving band licences for 5G networks. The harmonization of the spectrum for 5G as well as other services is an urgent issue. It is needed to minimize interference between countries and help achieve the best use of the spectrum.

Compared with other countries in the ASEAN region, Vietnam has had great achievements when successfully manufacturing many telecommunications equipment for 5G networks. (Photo: Trong Dat)

The 3.5 GHz band plays an important role in the development of 5G. Many countries have licensed enterprises to deploy 5G in the context of a relatively developed 5G device ecosystem.

However, most ASEAN countries face common challenges when planning 5G frequencies for the 3.5 GHz band. The reason is that the band is being used by many countries for fixed satellite systems. Considering the widespread use of 5G networks on the 3.5GHz band, a technical solution is needed to avoid harmful interference to ground stations.

To solve the problem of the band for 5G when it is not possible to use the 3.5 GHz band, many countries are considering planning for a 2.6 GHz band because the 5G device ecosystem that supports this band is ready.

The limitation of this option is the dissonance in terms of band planning when some countries are using the other band for 4G. That leads to the challenge of how to coordinate and handle border interference.

Nguyen Duc Trung, Director of the Radio Frequency Department, said that 5G can accelerate the development of digital infrastructure and meet the needs of digital transformation. Vietnam and ASEAN countries have already conducted 5G trials or launched commercial 5G services.

ASEAN countries are taking action to provide the spectrum for 5G services. However, the whole region faces challenges related to the planning of frequencies for 5G.

The expert said that Vietnam and some other countries have conducted tests on sharing the 3.5GHz band for both satellite and mobile services, and have prepared another band for 5G.

The conference was an opportunity for ASEAN countries to share information on testing results, and the current status and future 5G deployment plans. Through this, regulatory agencies and mobile service operators of each country can exchange, discuss and have a comprehensive view of 5G development trends in the region and in the world.