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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  11 January  2016  

 VN needs road map for ending 2G service

Viet Nam needs a road map for full termination of second generation network (2G) services and adopting 4G as around 65 per cent of Vietnamese are still using 2G.

Local network providers said that there was a strong trend to shift from 2G to 3G. Turnover from 2G services and SMS has sharply reduced while that of 3G has increased strongly.

Ho Chi Dung, technology director of military-run telecommunication Viettel, said they had prepared to bring prices of SMS and voice services to zero.

Viettel has built an investment road map of using 2G or 3G for each region to ensure real demand and conditions of people.

He said investment into 3G and 4G would be prioritised in big cities where people had high demand of high speed services. Viettel would still pour capital into 2G in rural and remote areas where had high demand of voice services and SMS.

Viettel is the only network provider in Viet Nam still investing in both three technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G.

Pham Duc Long, general director of the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) said the group stopped investing in 2G and was pouring funds into 3G and 4G services.

Nguyen Dang Nguyen, deputy general director of the MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation (MobiFone) also said it was no longer investing in 2G services.

With a trend of modern technology, the termination of 2G in Viet Nam would be an issue of time.

Nguyen Manh Hung, Viettel's general director, proposed to the Ministry of Information and Communications to prepare a road map for 2G termination to release broadband for 4G and 5G.

4G would open a period of applications on smart phone while 5G would be used for Internet of Things. Traditional mobile phone services such as voices and SMS would be free.

Hung said that if Viet Nam promoted the rapid development of 4G and 5G, the country would receive opportunities for equal growth with developed countries in terms of technology and telecommunication.

Viet Nam has been considered a country with a young population, where people are intelligent and creative. The country has opportunities to become a hub of value added services on smart phones around the world.

He said, however, that the termination of 2G should be based on the market demand.

Do Minh Phuong, Viettel's deputy general director said several countries in the world had terminated 2G services. In Asia, Singapore had also terminated the service.

However, the termination was easy in developed countries with high living standards. Viet Nam would be hard pressed to terminate 2G so soon, as most of its population did not have smart phones, Phuong said.

He forecast that the road map should be laid out over the next 10 years, meaning the termination of 2G should be completed by 2025.

He suggested that Viet Nam should declare plans for termination of services now to give businesses, people and management agencies time to prepare before migrating to other services.

VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel have conducted a pilot project in using 2G broadband for 3G services.

According to MobiFone's calculation, the successful implementation of 3G on available 2G broadband would help network service providers reduce 60 per cent of the costs.

Experts in the telecommunication sector said the government supported people in transitioning to digital television.

They predicted that prices of end-to-end equipment of 3G and 4G would continue to reduce in the next few years.

Last year, Viet Nam had around 20 million people migrating from 2G to 3G.

Analogue termination

The capital has prepared infrastructure and is counting the number of poor households to give them support in shifting from analogue TV to digital.

According to the requirement from the Steering Committee for Digitising television plans, Ha Noi would stop the broadcast of analogue TV on three channels of VTV6, H2 and VTC9 from the beginning of March.

The municipal People's Committee has asked relevant departments and agencies to draw up plans to support all poor households having set-top boxes for the digitalisation process.

Statistics from the Department of Information and Communications showed that Ha Noi has 34,409 poor households.

It is estimated that the city would use VND70 billion (US$3.1 million) to support poor households to have set-top boxes for the switch to digitalisation of television programmes. — VNS

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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