To this end, information technology (IT) experts suggest the adoption of a number of approaches, including improving the quality of and attracting more human resources experienced in the 5G technology, practicing preferential policies for chipsets enterprises, and establishing a community of major IT producers.

Ready for the race

Developing Vietnamese technology companies in accordance with the “Make in Vietnam” policy is a way to solve the labor productivity problem and to escape the middle income trap. In electronics and telecom industries, the goal of technology mastery is to manufacture chipsets for 5G networks and other IoT devices.

In fact, over the past time, 5G chipsets and network infrastructure devices have been developed by major technology companies and establishments in Vietnam, including the Military Industry-Telecom Group (Viettel), the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), the CMC Technology Group Joint Stock Company (CMC), Vingroup, and the Military Technical Academy.


According to Major Nguyen Cuong Hoang, Deputy CEO of Viettel High Technologies Industry Corporation, a member of Viettel Group, all hardware and software for 5G devices have been studied and manufactured in Vietnam by Viettel. Viettel targets to possibly deploy microcells on its networks and complete Core 5G NSA EN-DC and then deploy macrocells and complete Core 5G SA in 2020. Viettel plans to debut the first ASIC chip in July 2020 and manufacture DFE chips in April 2021. They are the two most important chips for 5G base-transceiver stations.

To study and manufacture 5G devices, Viettel has employed more than 1,000 IT engineers and 300 engineers in other fields with years of experience.

Meanwhile, the newly-founded VinSmart Research and Manufacture JSC (VinSmart in short) under Vingroup has also targeted to develop 5G networks. The company has concentrated on studying and producing systems of 5G and IoT devices. VinSmart will build a laboratory to develop 5G network devices and 5G smartphones. As Ngo Hoang Anh - Head of the Embedded Software Division of the Telecommunications Equipment Research Institute under VinSmart - said, the company aims to debut the first 5G smartphone in July 2020 and test the first 5G telecom devices in August 2020.

In fact, designing and manufacturing chips are new and difficult for Vietnamese technology companies. Major Nguyen Cuong Hoang said that the common difficulty in producing 5G devices facing technology companies is the shortage of confidence from Vietnamese customers and chip-designing experts.

Many companies have the same voice that Vietnam is lacking high quality human resources on 5G technology and they are afraid of the output of chips when they are manufactured because Vietnam has not had an ecosystem for chip development.

The government should play a regulatory role to create a chip ecosystem

Jamie Schaeffer, Senior Director of Product Offering Management at Global Foundries Group, one of the world’s leading semiconductor producers, said that to develop 5G chipsets and devices, the Vietnamese Government should play a regulatory role and create markets for chip products designed by Vietnamese companies.

He also noted that chip development is costly and in need of big investments. Therefore, companies should cooperate to optimize investments and share human resources.

Meanwhile, technology companies should receive support in personnel income tax in industrial parks and a technical barrier should be created, so that Vietnamese enterprises will be able to compete with other foreign companies.

According to Nguyen Thi Bich Yen, a semiconductor expert, there should be measures to connect Vietnamese enterprises at home and abroad to jointly produce and develop 5G devices. She also suggested universities and enterprises work closely with one another in personnel training, and device study and manufacture. Yen explained that the cooperation would help reduce training costs, improve the quality of engineers, and partly solve the problem in which enterprises have to train graduate students again.

Regarding proposals from enterprises and experts, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam affirmed that as a policy-maker, the ministry will back the development of chips. In the short term, the ministry will make connections to form a community of wholehearted organizations and individuals wishing to contribute to chip development in Vietnam. It will be responsible for working out a strategy to define the State’s role and responsibility in facilitating the chip development of Vietnamese enterprises. The ministry also commits to dealing with all of the difficulties facing enterprises in the field.

Translated by Mai Huong