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Vietnam to delay introducing 4G until 2015

Government official says 4G network licensing will not be opened to interested telcos until at least two years later as it wants to ensure the investment efficiency of mobile network operators.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Vietnam will put off licensing 4G services in the country until at least 2015, as the government wants to maximize the investments already put in by mobile operators when setting up their 3G networks.

A report by Vietnam News last Saturday cited Information and Communications Deputy Minister Le Nam Thang, who said the country does not intend to open up the process of licensing 4G technology domestically given that many of the operators had just invested heavily in their 3G networks.

It intends to delay the introduction of 4G network services until at least two years later, during which service providers can carry out test runs and assess market demand.

The Vietnamese market is dominated by three telcos--Viettel, Mobifone and Vinafone--which have 117 million out of the 123 million mobile phone subscribers in the country. Of the 123 milliom, only 16 million are currently on 3G services, the report noted.

However, consumers are growing unhappy with the service quality of the 3G services offered. A joint study by Nielsen and local newspapers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, revealed that 55 percent of respondents were satisfied with the 3G quality in 2012, which is down from 64 percent in 2011.



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