4G may not boom in 2016: Experts

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 08:25

4G LTE-supported smartphones on display at a conference. Viet Nam will start to implement 4G service next year but it will take time for the service to boom. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Next year could be just a starting year for the implementation of 4G services in Viet Nam, and there may not be a boom in the market in this regard.

Representatives of both telecom giants, Viettel and VNPT, issued the forecast at a meeting on 2016 ICT trend of Viet Nam on Monday.

"The most important factor that determines the popularisation of 4G technology is the price of end-to-end devices," Ho Chi Dung, technology director of Viettel stated.

However, now, the cheapest price was at least US$100, he said, and added that not until the price decreased to around $50, could the market see a boom.

"I do not think the price can reduce to that extent next year," Dung predicted.

Agreeing with Dung, VNPT Deputy Director-General To Manh Cuong said that the market would boom only when there was a convergence between networks and devices.

In terms of network, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has not officially issued licences for 4G, and moreover, to deploy it also requires time, Cuong said.

It may take at least to the end of next year when network providers will be able to launch 4G commercially, he said.

According to the VNPT representative, there are currently only about five to six per cent of devices in the market which support 4G.

Like 3G, it would be difficult for 4G to find a large number of customers in the first year of its implementation, he forecast.

Till now, the MIC has issued a licence for piloting 4G to the three largest telecom providers, which are Viettel, VNPT VinaPhone and MobiFone.

The ministry is also assessing documents of FPT Telecom which has asked for a licence.

Viettel was the first network provider to pilot 4G service to users in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau in the beginning of December.

The group invested in more than 200 base transceiver stations covering the residential areas in the cities of Vung Tau and Ba Ria and in Long Dien District.

"Our goal is wherever there is 4G coverage, the speed at the farthest area must be at least 5 Mbps, so that all users can view HD video," Dung added.

Meanwhile, VNPT is also planning to pilot 4G in Phu Quoc and HCM City in the near future.

According to Cuong, all of their devices are installed, tested and are only waiting for system integration. — VNS

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