After almost a year of operator trials, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has officially issued 4G spectrum licenses to three mobile operators.
According to VietnamNet, MobiFone, military-run Viettel and incumbent Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) have each been granted a license from the ministry to operate LTE services in the 1800-MHz band.
Vietnamese cellcos have been allowed to test LTE since 2010, but it was only near the end of last year that the MIC granted MobiFone, Viettel and VNPT licenses for LTE and LTE-Advanced pilot trials in select areas.
The new licenses clear the path for commercial 4G rollouts. However, VietnamNet reports, the cellcos will have to go easy on subscriber migration to 4G for the next two years:
According to the Department of Radio Frequencies, Viet Nam can only popularise the service from 2018. However, major telecommunication service providers said they can officially launch the service right after receiving the licences.
Under the government’s national broadband development plan, 4G broadband infrastructure should cover 95% of the population by 2020.
Samsung, for one, is quite pleased with the development, the report says:
Dong Soo Park, global marketing and sales general director of Samsung Networks, told local media that with the development of 4G service, Vietnamese customers would enjoy more value-added services. It’s time Viet Nam developed 4G, he said.
UPDATE [OCT 20]: Make that four operators – VietnamNet reports that Gtel Mobile Joint Stock Company (Gtel Mobile) has also been granted a 4G license for the 1800-MHz band.