Besides the delivery of 5G services, Viettel said the use of the newly acquired 2,500-2,600MHz band will improve the quality of its existing 4G services in Vietnam.

Gigi Onag, Senior Editor, APAC

March 15, 2024

2 Min Read
Mobile mast
Source: Viettel Group

Viettel Group said it has officially won the first 5G license for the right to use the radio frequency band 2500-2600MHz in Vietnam for the next 15 years, following a spectrum auction held by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) last weekend.

"The 2,500-2,600 MHz band is of special importance as it is an efficient band for the deployment of both 4G and 5G mobile networks, thereby improving the quality of current 4G services and officially offering 5G services," the company said in a statement.

Neither Viettel nor the MIC revealed financial details of the winning bid, but it was earlier reported that the government had set a starting price of 3.9 trillion Vietnamese dong (US$158 million) for the 2,500-2,600MHz band.

Quoting MIC's Vu Thu Hien, the Vietnam News Network (VNN) reported the mid-range band will be the most important waveband in the first stage of 5G deployment in the country for its support of 4G services. As such, he added, 71% of 5G networks globally have been deployed on the mid-range band.

The MIC conducted the second 5G auction for the 3,700-3,800MHz band on Thursday, with the third round for the 3,800-3,900MHz band scheduled for March 19. The starting price of each band is set at VND1.89 trillion (US$76.63 million). A bidder is only allowed to win one band.

Related:Vietnam auctions 5G as phase-out of 2G services begins

A wider coverage

Viettel noted the 2,500-2,600MHz band would give it an advantage over the other two bands, as it provides a wider coverage.

"This band also provides an optimal coverage radius 1.3 times greater than the C band (3,500 MHz)," the company said, adding that current 5G devices that the company has researched and produced support the 2,500-2,600MHz band.

The telco operator also said that it plans to launch its national 5G network "in the shortest possible time."

With only 17% to 20% of devices in the country supporting 5G connectivity, Viettel plans its deployment in areas such as industrial zones, export processing zones and innovation centers, where there is high demand and a high percentage of 5G-compatible devices.

In October, VNMedia reported that the mobile operator who gets the 2,500-2,600MHz spectrum allocation will be required to deploy at least 3,000 5G broadcasting stations using the band within two years after they receive the license. They must also commit to launching commercial 5G services using the band within the first 12 months.

The MIC is determined that commercial 5G services will take off in Vietnam this year. It has set a target to provide 5G coverage to 99% of the population by 2025, at a minimum 100 Mbits/s data speed.

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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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