Vietnam edges up in Huawei's global connectivity rankings

By Nguyen Quy   November 25, 2019 | 10:30 pm PT
Vietnam edges up in Huawei's global connectivity rankings
A couple surf Internet on their smartphones on a sidewalk in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Minh Son.
Vietnam has jumped three places this year to 57th out of 79 economies in a global ranking of digital transformation and connectivity.

It scored 37 out of 120, up from 35 last year, and was classed in the group of starters, in the annual global connectivity index (GCI) published by Chinese telecom equipment and services giant Huawei.

The report ranks 79 countries and territories based on information and communications technology (ICT) investment, ICT maturity and digital economic performance.

It groups economies into three clusters, Starters, Adopters and Frontrunners.

"Vietnam is still in the early stages of ICT infrastructure development.

"The Internet is commonly used in Vietnam for basic needs such as business emails and online searches by consumers. The lack of content in Vietnamese and fragmented information sources are hindering this country as it tries to take the next step up."

Vietnamese telecom firms are seeking a head start in the 5G race as the country expects to become an early adopter of the technology.

Telecom giant Viettel broadcast from its network of 5G base transceiver stations in Ho Chi Minh City last September for the first time.

Rivals like MobiFone and Vinaphone are expected to launch 5G services soon.

U.S. technology company Cisco said the number of 5G subscriptions in Vietnam could hit 6.3 million by 2025 or 6 percent of total mobile subscriptions.

Around 64 million people, or over half of the country’s population, are online.

In November last year Information and Communication Minister Nguyen Manh Hung had said Vietnam should test 5G in 2019 and ensure nationwide coverage by 2020.

"Vietnam should be one of the first countries to launch the network, at least in Hanoi and HCMC."

The country was one of the last in Southeast Asia to roll out 4G services.

Primarily used for smartphones and other devices, but also expected to support new applications like remote medical procedures and autonomous driving, 5G is believed to offer data speeds up 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

The list is topped by the U.S. with 85 points followed by Switzerland and Sweden with 83 and 81.

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