Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has awarded a licence to local telecoms firm Indochina Telecom allowing it to deploy a network for the provision of WiMAX services, local news source VietNamNet Bridge reports. In August the MIC granted Indochina the country’s first permit to provide wireless services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Indochina initially said it planned to commence mobile services in the first quarter of 2010, but a commercial launch has not yet been forthcoming. The company will share 3G network facilities with military-owned cellco Viettel, one of the country’s seven mobile network operators. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, a number of telecoms operators have already carried out WiMAX trials in Vietnam. The first pilots were launched by state-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) in the mountainous Lao Cai region in October 2006, while military-owned Viettel began its trial in Hanoi in December 2006. In March 2008 the MIC licensed five telcos – FPT Telecom, EVN Telecom, Viettel, Saigon Postel and VNPT’s wholly-owned subsidiary Vietnam Data Communications Company (VDC) – for a year-long trial of mobile WiMAX. FPT, EVN and Viettel were granted temporary spectrum allocations in the 2.3GHz-2.4GHz range, while VDC was given a block in the 2.5GHz band.