Vietnam must be an early 5G bird: minister

By Nguyen Ha, Minh Nga   November 14, 2018 | 04:43 pm PT
Vietnam must be an early 5G bird: minister
A 5G sign is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Yves Herman
To move up in global telecom rankings, Vietnam should be among the first to launch 5G services, says the nation's information minister.

Nguyen Manh Hung said at a Wednesday meeting that Vietnam should test the 5G network next year and ensure nationwide coverage by 2020.

Vietnam used to be ranked among the top 20 in the world by the International Telecommunication Union for mobile-broadband subscriptions, thanks to the application of 2G mobile networks in 1993, just three years after its global entry.

But it lagged far behind the world in launching its 3G and 4G services, and Vietnam's rank plummeted to 115/193.

3G networks showed up in the world in 2000, but it was not launched in Vietnam until a decade later. The 4G service has been in vogue for 10 years, but so far, the network in Vietnam is still far away from the qualified speed.

"5G is coming, and this is the chance for Vietnam to climb up in the ranking. And for this change to happen, Vietnam should be one of the first to launch the network, at least in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City," Hung said.

The Ministry of Information and Communications aims to test 5G networks next year and launch it in 2020, local media reports have said.

"5G is not only an opportunity for connection services and going up the telecommunications ladder, but also an opportunity for developing the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry," Hung said.

Like the 4G networks currently widely available, 5G is based on radio frequencies, the same used for television broadcasts, walkie-talkies, wifi signals or garage door remote controls, according to AFP.

It will use a higher radio frequency that is not in use yet and can move data at a much faster speed.

But since higher radio frequencies don't travel as far as lower frequencies, it will rely on denser arrays of small antennas and artificial intelligence to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks, the report said.

5G will allow people to send texts, make calls, and browse the web as always - but will dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network.

This will make it easier to download and upload Ultra HD and 3D videos and allow smartphones to run more complex mobile internet apps.

5G will also make room for thousands of internet-connected devices to enter the everyday world.

Most European operators have targeted 2020 for rolling out their 5G services.

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