Vietnam leaps up global connectivity ranking

By Nguyen Quy   February 4, 2021 | 06:30 am PT
Vietnam leaps up global connectivity ranking
A student studies online during social distancing campaign in Hanoi, April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Anh.
Vietnam has jumped two places to 55th out of 79 economies in a 2020 global ranking of digital transformation and connectivity, ahead of regional peers.

Vietnam has an average score of 41 out of 120 based on the four pillars: levels of supply of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services, demand for connectivity, connectivity experience, and potential for future development of the digital economy, according to an annual report released this week by Chinese telecom equipment and services giant Huawei.

The index, which identifies several inflection points in a country like ICT laws, telecom investment, cloud investment, 4G connections, ICT investment and international internet bandwidth, grouped nations into three clusters: starters (ranked 58 to 79), adopters (21 to 57) and front runners (1 to 20).

In the latest ranking, Vietnam has moved from starters group in 2019 to the adopters thanks to the upgrade of 4G connectivity, the report stated.

The Philippines (38th) and Indonesia (39th) are now the only Southeast Asian countries in the list of starters. Other SEA adopters are Malaysia (34th) and Thailand (46th).

The list is topped by the U.S., followed by Singapore and Switzerland.

According to the report, Vietnam has seen significant growth in mobile broadband subscriptions, mobile broadband affordability and internet participation.

As of September last year, there were 88 million smartphone users in Vietnam, up 14 percent year-on-year; 83 million of them 4G capable.

Vietnamese telecoms started piloting 4G, fourth generation broadband cellular network technology, succeeding 3G, in December 2015.

The government required phones sold in Vietnam to support 4G and 5G in accordance with new national standards that would take effect in July this year while Vietnamese telecom providers have been trialing 5G since 2019, and are expected to roll it out in June.

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