Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has permitted five telecoms companies to test Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, VietNamNet Bridge reports. The quintet – state-owned PTO Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT), military-owned Viettel, FPT Telecom, CMC Telecom and Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) – have been given one year to conduct tests of the 4G technology. After that time, the firms will be expected to participate in the auction of 4G frequencies and licences. According to the Telecommunications Law, the five companies will have the right to transfer the licences after auction. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, privately-owned ISP FPT Telecom was permitted to trial LTE technology last month. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan asked the MIC to grant testing 4G licences and frequencies to Viettel on 1 September.
In a separate story, the MIC has permitted cellcos MobiFone, Vinaphone and Viettel to receive 50% of their 3G licence deposits – equivalent to VND3.57 trillion (USD181 million) – after the Ministry verified that the trio had fulfilled the first phase of their 3G network investment commitment. The firms will be allowed to withdraw the remainder if they meet the second phase over the next three years.