Delegates are introduced about 5G network of Viettel at the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Zone

Historic 5G phone calls

At the 5G phone call testing, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung and Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh made the first video calls on a 5G network with gNodeB manufactured by Viettel. The calls have very good quality in both audio and video terms. The two ministers and all participants were moved after the successful 5G calls as these calls marked a big milestone in the development history of Vietnam’s information and communication industry.   

In preparation for these 5G phone calls, experts and engineers of Viettel with their rich experience in developing 4G-eNodeB spent 6 months in researching and developing 5G gNodeB. In fact, Viettel made the first 5G phone call in Vietnam in May 2019 but that phone call was based on the 5G technology of Ericsson – Viettel’s Swedish partner.

At present, only five companies from four countries in the world can manufacture equipment and devices for 5G networks. They are Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia (Finland), Samsung (Republic of Korea), Huawei and ZTE (China). Viettel has just become the six 5G technology supplier in the world. But Viettel is the only one among the six 5G technology providers that can produce 5G equipment and provide 5G telecommunication services at the same time.

At a conference to review the 2019 performance of the Ministry of Information and Communications on December 28, 2019, Viettel introduced its 5G-gNodeB. The 5G-gNodeB meets all 3GPP technical standards of the International Telecommunication Union.

As Viettel can now design and produce 5G equipment for its 5G network, the company will increase its business and production values as well as provide better 5G services for its customers.

With Viettel’s success in producing equipment for the 5G network and testing 5G services, Vietnam will reduce its dependence on foreign-made 5G technology and can have the initiative in creating an Industry 4.0 ecosystem in the country.

Catching up with 5G leading countries

After witnessing Viettel's 5G system, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said: “Up to now, I strongly believe that Vietnam will commercialize 5G by using Vietnam-made equipment in 2020. With what Viettel has done, our people can be proud that Vietnam is on par with the countries in the world possessing 5G technology.”

According to Minister Nguyen Manh Hung, Vietnamese enterprises have now been able to produce about 75% of the 5G telecommunications equipment and will target to produce 100% of the 5G telecommunications equipment by 2021. In particular, Viettel has mastered the core of the 4G telecommunications technology and is now focusing on developing the 5G telecommunication technology.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh joyfully said that, only 8 months after Viettel made the first 5G call with the equipment and devices manufactured by Ericsson, Viettel can make a 5G call using the devices researched and manufactured by Viettel. "Of course, I know that Viettel started researching 5G technology from 2011," said Minister Chu Ngoc Anh.

He also said that Viettel’s success in developing the telecommunication 5G technology will inspire Vietnam's science and technology research circle to innovate new technologies and hi-tech equipment.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, Phan Xuan Dung, said “Viettel is a prime example of turning the impossible into possible, turning what is not in the rule into the rule.”

He suggested, “It is necessary now to have appropriate mechanisms and policies to encourage and create a large domestic market for Vietnamese technology enterprises. It is because there must be a market for businesses to grow. The domestic market will be a springboard for Vietnamese businesses to reach out to the world.

“It's hard to make a new product, but it is even harder to bring the product to customers. Currently, Vietnam has a product that is as good as that of the leading brands in the world. I suggest that Vietnamese businesses and people should prioritize the use of Vietnam-made products,” Mr. Dung stressed.

Major General Le Dang Dung, Acting Chairman and Acting General Director of Viettel said, "Viettel will try its best to start commercializing 5G services based on its own produced hardware, software, equipment and devices in 2020. This will facilitate the creation of an Industry 4.0 ecosystem, the development of a digital economy and digital society in Vietnam.”

He underlined that all countries use 5G networks to facilitate their scientific and technological research, development and application.

“We have identified our 5G project as Viettel's most strategic project... Viettel will build civilian and military products based on its 5G technology,” he assured.

New thinking and new vision needed

Major General Le Dang Dung suggested that in order to create favorable conditions for the development of 5G networks, as well as to create a favorable environment for hi-tech research and production enterprises such as Viettel to develop quickly, it is necessary to have appropriate mechanisms and policies.

“Thanks to “open” thinking that encouraged innovation in the information, communication technology (ICT), Vietnam’s ICT industry has enjoyed fast growth in the past time. New thinking and new vision that can untie ICT businesses are needed now to create an environment for a newly developed technology field,” Major General Dung stressed.

At the event, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung suggested that Viettel should accelerate the commercialization of 5G. According to the old plan, Viettel aims to commercialize 5G Microcells by October 2020.

“With today’s successful testing of 5G phone calls with the core equipment made by Viettel, I think the company can commercialize 5G services in Vietnam four months earlier, maybe in June 2020. It is because Viettel can produce the core equipment for a 5G network,” the Minister of Information and Communications spoke at the 5G call testing ceremony.

Minister Nguyen Manh Hung also asked Viettel to immediately bring Viettel-made 5G equipment and devices to the global mobile exhibition in Barcelona (Spain) in February.

Minister Nguyen Manh Hung added, “Every year, the International Telecommunication Union organizes the World Telecommunications Exhibition (ITU Telecom World), and 49 editions of ITU Telecom World have so far been organized. As the host of the 50th ITU Telecom World in 2020, Vietnam has had an initiative that the 50th edition in Vietnam in September will be renamed as the World Digital Conference and Exhibition (ITU Digital World). Thus, at the exhibition, not only telecommunications products but also all ICT products and solutions for the digital economy will be showcased.

The change of name has changed the contents of the exhibition. The initiative shows the vision and initiative of Vietnam in building a digital economy covering all aspects of life. It is this vision that can help Vietnam reap big fruits and grow faster in the era of Industry 4.0.

Translated by Thu Nguyen