Vietnam makes second biggest jump in digital inclusion rankings

By Nguyen Quy   March 6, 2021 | 11:00 pm PT
Vietnam makes second biggest jump in digital inclusion rankings
A man talks to his friend via smartphone inside a Covid-19 quarantine hospital in Hanoi, August 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Vietnam jumped 10 places to 44th among 82 economies in the latest digital inclusion ranking, making it the world’s second biggest improver after Myanmar.

The country gained an overall score of 64 points out of 100 in the index published by global consultancy Roland Berger, which said it measured and analyzed digital inclusion levels of 82 emerging and developed economies based on accessibility, affordability, ability, and attitude.

Both Myanmar and Vietnam have achieved significant infrastructure improvements in mobile data availability and coverage, the consultancy said.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was behind Singapore (1st), Malaysia (21st) and Thailand (38th).

In terms of individual digital access, Vietnam scored 61, up 16 points in the previous ranking. The country also improved significantly in terms of affordability, which considers financial capability to pay for digital access, scoring 64, up eight points.

In the attitude factor, which considers an individual’s trust and enthusiasm in harnessing digital tools, Vietnam scored 76, up 12 points.

"However, the country's lowered ability scores show it needs to pay more attention to developing digital literacy," said the report on the rankings.

Further along on its digital transformation journey, Vietnam meanwhile made gains thanks to its government's plans for Industry 4.0, foreign investments, and upgrade of state-of-the-art 4G and 5G infrastructure, it added.

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

An order requiring phones sold in Vietnam to support 4G and 5G in accordance with new national standards is set to take effect in July this year. Vietnamese telecom providers have been trialing 5G since 2019, and are expected to roll it out commercially in June.

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.

A government program to turn Vietnam into a digital nation approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last year wants 80 percent of the population to carry out transactions digitally, and aims to provide broadband Internet and 5G connections nationwide in the next five years.

Singapore held on to its top position in the digital inclusion index, followed by Sweden and Denmark.

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