5G trial to boost HCMC pedestrian street experience

By Nguyen Quy   December 14, 2020 | 11:40 pm PT
5G trial to boost HCMC pedestrian street experience
A user shows 5G speed on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in HCMC on the phone, December 14, 2020. Photo by VOV.
Military-run Viettel has begun commercially trialing 5G services on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street, a popular tourist destination in HCMC, following a similar move in Hanoi last month.

From late last weekend, customers with 5G devices could start experiencing the technology without needing to change their sim cards along popular Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1.

Le Hoang Nam, 27, was able to reach download speeds of between 500 and 600 megabytes per second (Mbps), or 10 times that of 4G speeds. Normally, it takes 5G users 71 seconds to download a 1.4-gigabyte (GB) app.

Nam expects affordable 5G services would soon become popular across Vietnam, enabling those from all walks of life to experience the service.

In HCMC, only Nokia, Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei devices can access 5G, with Samsung users having to wait until the end of the year to follow suit. It remains unclear when iPhones will be able to connect to the service in Vietnam.

Viettel became the first to conduct 5G commercial tests in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Since November 30, customers in Hanoi's districts of Hoan Kiem, home to the famous pedestrian zone, Ba Dinh and Hai Ba Trung can access 5G services, with download speeds 10 times higher than 4G.

During the trial period, Viettel will provide unlimited free 5G data, enabling customers to experience the advantages of fifth generation mobile technology.

In addition to Viettel, major telecom operators VNPT and MobiFone are racing to test 5G services to achieve the government’s goal of making the country one of the earliest to adopt the technology.

Communications minister Nguyen Manh Hung said in 2018 Vietnam would strive to become one of the first countries in the world to commercialize 5G.

It was seven or eight years behind in adopting 3G and 4G technologies, but not with 5G, he promised last month, adding the service would be widely available across the country from next year.

Nguyen Hue, which runs from City Hall to Ton Duc Thang Street along Saigon River, has welcomed thousands of visitors every day since it turned pedestrian in 2015. The street gets particularly crowded during the weekends and holidays.

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