Vietnam plans to license 5th generation (5G) commercialization in 2022 and expand 5G coverage in urban areas and high-tech industrial zones. This involves increasing the number of digital enterprises from 58,000 to 100,000 by 2025 as part of the National Digital Transformation Plan, aiming to build a digital government and economy, and eventually a digital society.

This widescale deployment will make use of around 70 percent of the existing 4G infrastructure, following several small-scaled commercial trials in 2020-2021.

The digital economy plays a pivotal role in facilitating Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy, expected to contribute 7 percent of GDP in 2025 and 7.5 percent by 2030. Contributing to this, 5G is projected to create US$13.1 trillion and two million new jobs by 2035.

5G, the latest mobile internet technology, is believed to be the future of mobile networks. Compared to the latest generations namely 4G, 3G, and 2G, 5G offers largely improved data throughput, low-power networks to support the Internet of Things (IoT), and much lower latency, the delay between sending and receiving signals, to enable clever remote-control scenarios.

In addition, 5G is estimated to use 10 times less energy than 4G by 2025, contributing to a more sustainable and energy-efficient digital landscape.

Widely known for its advantages in speed, connectivity, and security, 5G allows enterprises to process and analyze a greater volume of data with optimal costs. Reportedly, its data transmission speed is 10-20 times faster than the current speed with the capacity to handle up to a million devices per square kilometer.

Additionally, 5G’s latency is only one-fifth of 4G, resulting in shorter delay times and higher productivity.

Moreover, the 5G landscape is more complex and multifaceted than its counterparts. This is proven more effective in tackling problems with dropped connections and low accessibility to a large number of devices. While the previous generations connected billions of people, 5G is expected to connect trillions of devices, transforming the telecommunication network into an interrelated virtual world.

Vietnam is considered one of the frontrunners on 5G development alongside the US, China, and Japan, having licensed various trials during 2020-2021. Currently, three carriers including Viettel, Mobifone, and VNPT have been licensed by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to trial in 16 cities and provinces nationwide.

While Viettel targeted Hanoi with 140 base stations, Mobifone conducted trials in Ho Chi Minh City with 50 stations. Viettel is the pioneer in providing 5G services in Vietnam, following its 4G coverage of up to 97 percent of the Vietnamese population.

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This article was first published by VietnamBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected]

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ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

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