Vietnam’s dominant fixed-line telco VNPT is considering a proposal from South Korea’s KT Corp that would see the two companies collaborate over a rollout of WiBro technology in Vietnam. In a recent interview with the Korea Times, KT vice-president Bang Choon-sik suggested that WiBro could be the key to Vietnam increasing its relatively low internet penetration of just 12.9%. Bang also hinted that the Vietnamese government was mindful of the country’s large landmass, and consequently preferred wireless solutions to internet connectivity over fixed line technologies such as DSL.
However, despite KT’s desire to spread WiBro beyond the confines of South Korea, the telco faces obstacles both in the form of Intel, the company that spearheads the development of rival technology WiMAX, and the current regulatory environment in Vietnam. Licences permitting pilot launches of WiMAX services have already been given to four companies, including VNPT, while WiBro appears to have received relatively little support at the regulator level.