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Vietnamese Telecos: Don’t Expect 4G Anytime Soon

Hoping to see the text “4G” atop your mobile phone screen? You’ll have to wait a bit longer. Instead of upgrading their mobile data networks to 4G, Vietnamese telecommunication companies are focusing on expanding and improving their 3G services, according to Vietnam Net.

A senior executive of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) highlighted high costs and an unsaturated 3G market as the main reasons for the delay of 4G implementation:

“Developing 4G would be not too costly. However, VNPT has not geared up to implement the 4G technology development project because the demand for 4G is still not strong enough” adding that, “3G technology is still more than enough to satisfy the domestic users’ demand for mobile data.”

In late July, VinaPhone, announced that it has succeeded in increasing their 3G data download speed up to 42 Mbps, six times higher than the current speed.

In addition, Viettel has been focusing on expanding its 3G reach, adding 9 million new 3G subscribers in the first seven months of 2014.

An recent report from the Ministry of Information and Communication found that only 25% of Vietnamese currently use 3G services, pointing to a lack of saturation in the market:

“The 3G market still has a lot of potential, while the demand for 4G is not big enough. That is why telcos still gather their strength in 3G services,” one expert noted.

However, Thieu Phuong Nam, CEO of Qualcomm Vietnam, thinks that in addition to improving 3G, telcos should also be considering 4G deployment plans.

 “When you prepare for 4G, this does not mean that you stop developing 3G. The two need to be done concurrently,” he said.

Does 3G service in Vietnam meet your data demands?  

[Vietnam Net]

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