With passion for science and technology, he studied automation at Hanoi University of Science and Technology. Before working for Viettel, Ha used to work and was trained at a number of prestigious military units. Dwelling deeply into scientific research, for more than once he heard the saying “This job can only be done by Western researchers. We never can!” and disagrees with that way of thinking.

Coming to work for Viettel, he found the right place for him to follow his passion. That is because he sees great determination and trust in what staff can do at work of Viettel’s leadership even though they sometimes have to figure out their own ways from zero. They think big, believe big and act big!

VHT General Director Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Vu Ha (second from right) introducing high-tech products of the corporation

For example, Viettel once boldly took up the mission of researching and developing a military signal machine which the Ministry of National Defense could not afford due to its high price. It was a rather hard job. However, with high determination, competence and trust, the four-member research group with Nguyen Vu Ha as the core successfully developed that machine in just six months.

Overcoming hardships and inferiority, with their efforts, the team produced that military signal machine weighing just 8kg with equivalent features of the one that was previously offered at a skyrocket price. That encouraging achievement contributed to consolidating trust and creating a premise for Viettel to establish the Research and Development Institute of Viettel in 2011 and VHT in 2019.

According to Ha, it is crucial to divide big work into smaller tasks, or phases, to work on. He retold the story when then Deputy Director of Viettel Group Nguyen Manh Hung (now Minister of Information and Communications) worked with research teams in developing a coastal radar system. Hung asked them a series of questions “Could we produce the antenna?”, “Could we produce the signal transmitter?”, “Could we produce the signal receiver?”, “Could we produce the signal processing unit?” and the answers were “Yes!” and “Possibly yes!” for all the questions. Then, the poser was solved, just by dealing with smaller tasks broken down from the whole bigger work. The radar system was developed successfully and approved by the Ministry of National Defense afterwards.

Ha shared his thinking that in doing research, we should face the right challenges. He said, “Why should we be obsessed with the story of not being able to produce a screw? Why do we have to produce things from A to Z? What’s the point in producing screws when many other countries are good at producing them and we just need to order? Why don’t we focus on software development, artificial intelligence technology? Facing the wrong challenges, losing our self-confidence and we just can’t move forward.”

The current policy of VHT is to definitely master the core technology, system designs, algorithms, and modulation methods, he said. As for other parts, it is possible to import or outsource from foreign enterprises. In the process of globalization, the research and development sector of all countries is moving in this direction. For him, the Vietnamese people are as intelligent and flexible at work as other peoples. “What we need to pay attention to in order to do big work in science and technology is to have high aspiration, strong determination and scientific organization in carrying out the work,” he said.

Thanks to big thinking of Viettel Group in general and VHT in particular, after 10 years of doing research and development and two years of the corporation’s establishment, VHT has gradually built up a diverse research ecosystem focusing on both military and civilian areas. In terms of military technology, VHT has provided the Ministry of National Defense with dozens of modern military equipment items including radar, command and control, and opto-electronic systems, which the ministry had to import or couldn’t afford before. In 2020 alone, VHT successfully tested and transferred to units of the Ministry of National Defense products worth up to 7.5 trillion VND, or equivalent to 326 million USD. As for telecommunications technology, in 2020, VHT developed and manufactured various high-tech products such as the new radio access technology for 5G services (gNodeB 5G) and the 5G core network.

With the achievements of VHT and his own, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Vu Ha has won many noble awards, including the title “outstanding laborer of the year” at the national level in 2016.

Translated by Huu Duong