Vietnamese mobile operator Vinaphone has launched third generation services in the country’s largest cities, becoming Vietnam’s first 3G provider, local daily Thanh Nien News reports. The service, which offers broadband internet, mobile television and videocalling, is initially available in 13 major cities and provinces, with expansion to other areas to follow in the near future. Earlier in the month, the state-owned VNPT-subsidiary announced it had successfully tested its 3G infrastructure, having completed the installation of thousands of 3G base transceiver stations. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vinaphone was awarded a licence to operate 3G services by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) in April 2009, along with Viettel, MobiFone and a consortium between EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom. Both Viettel and Mobifone have set an official 3G launch date of December, with the latter expected to offer its service on a trial basis next month to around 300,000 customers.