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Viettel makes first 5G call in Vietnam

 Telecom giant Viettel and Sweden’s Ericsson Group successfully conducted the first call using fifth generation (5G) technology in Vietnam on May 10.

The call was part of Viettel’s 5G technical testing programme to evaluate the application of the technology in the country.

At the ceremony, its network connection speed with end-use devices reached 1.5 to 1.7Gbps, surpassing the theoretical speed limit of the 4G LTE network and equal to that of commercial fiber optic cable.

This event marked Vietnam as one of the earliest countries to successfully test a 5G network, after the US, Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

“We want to be at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and develop the ICT sector, so that Vietnamese people and businesses can compete in the global economy. That's why it is necessary to deploy 5G early,” said Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung.

He affirmed that 5G is an opportunity for Vietnam to boost its ranking in the world. The country will bring 5G into commercial operation in 2020 and will be one of the first countries to deploy the latest network.

“One of the applications in the first phase of 5G is smart factories. Viettel and other network providers must experiment to cover 5G in all hi-tech zones, national innovation centres and smart factories by 2020,” he added.

“With the mission of pioneering a digital society in Vietnam, Viettel is confident in mastering modern technologies. In terms of transmission infrastructure, IoT technology based on 4G LTE-M and NB-IoT has been deployed by Viettel to become one of the first 50 operators in the world to deploy these technologies. Viettel is ready to apply artificial intelligence solutions to solve social problems. Viettel also builds the largest and most sophisticated network security team in Việt Nam to protect the safety of users on the internet,” said Le Dang Dung, Viettel Group’s acting chairman and general director.

Ericsson has accompanied Viettel in the experimental implementation of 5G.

Denis Brunetti, Head of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos said Viettel and Ericsson acknowledged the importance of using 5G in applying and improving the benefits of Industry 4.0. It was expected to promote digitalisation in all sectors including production, agriculture, energy, healthcare and education.

By bringing 5G services to Vietnam early, Viettel and Ericsson have been building a foundation for Industry 4.0. 5G will provide important infrastructure to create momentum and allow Vietnam to attract more FDI in the hi-tech sector.

Viettel said it would continue to expand its experimental 5G network in Hanoi and HCM City. The experiment would help the Ministry of Information and Communication evaluate 5G technology based on coverage areas, capacity, maximum speed and compatibility with current infrastructure. The ministry would have a foundation to map out policies and roadmap for commercialisation of 5G in 2020.

In January, the ministry granted licences to Viettel and MobiFone to implement 5G experiments for one year from January 22, 2019 to January 22, 2020.