Vietnam needs road map for ending 2G service

January 14, 2016 | 09:46 am GMT+7

Vietnam needs a road map for full termination of second generation network (2G) services and adopting 4G as around 65 percent of Vietnamese are still using 2G.


Local network providers said that there is a strong trend to shift from 2G to 3G. Turnover from 2G services and SMS has sharply reduced while that of 3G has increased strongly. 

Ho Chi Dung, technology director of military-run telecommunication Viettel, said they have prepared to bring prices of SMS and voice services to zero. 
Viettel has built an investment road map of using 2G or 3G for each region to ensure the company meets the real demand and conditions of people. 
He said investment into 3G and 4G will be prioritised in big cities where people have high demand of high speed services. Viettel will still pour capital into 2G in rural and remote areas where there is high demand of voice services and SMS. 
Viettel is the only network provider in Vietnam still investing in both three technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G. 
Pham Duc Long, general director of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) said the group has stopped investing in 2G and is pouring funds into 3G and 4G services. 
Nguyen Dang Nguyen, deputy general director of the MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation (MobiFone) also said it is no longer investing in 2G services. 
With the trend of modern technology, the termination of 2G in Vietnam is just an issue of time. 
Nguyen Manh Hung, Viettel"s general director, proposed to the Ministry of Information and Communications to prepare a road map for 2G termination to release broadband for 4G and 5G. 
4G would open a period of applications on smart phone while 5G would be used for Internet of Things. Traditional mobile phone services such as voices and SMS would be free. 
Hung said that if Vietnam promotes the rapid development of 4G and 5G, the country will receive opportunities for equal growth with developed countries in terms of technology and telecommunication. 
Vietnam has been considered a country with a young population, where people are intelligent and creative. The country has opportunities to become a hub of value added services on smart phones around the world. 
He said, however, that the termination of 2G should be based on market demand. 
Do Minh Phuong, Viettel"s deputy general director said several countries in the world have terminated 2G services. In Asia, Singapore has also terminated the service. 
However, the termination is easy in developed countries with high living standards. Vietnam will be hard pressed to terminate 2G so soon, as a large number of people are yet to have smart phones, Phuong said. 
He forecast that the road map should be laid out over the next 10 years, meaning the termination of 2G should be completed by 2025. 
He suggested that Vietnam should declare plans for termination of services now to give businesses, people and management agencies time to prepare before switching to other services. 
VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel have conducted a pilot project in using 2G broadband for 3G services. 
According to MobiFone"s calculation, the successful implementation of 3G on available 2G broadband would help network service providers reduce 60 percent of the costs. 
Experts in the telecommunication sector predicted that prices of end-to-end equipment of 3G and 4G would continue to reduce in the next few years. 
Last year, Vietnam had around 20 million people switching from 2G to 3G.