Vietnam awards 4G licences to the big three cellcos

18 Oct 2016

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has awarded a licence to provide 4G services to MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation, the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers. VietNamNet reports that the move follows the recent licensing of military-owned Viettel Telecom and VNPT-Vinaphone to establish and operate 4G networks using the 1800MHz band, while the MIC is also said to be evaluating an LTE licence application from the market’s smallest wireless operator, GTel Mobile. The new concessions are valid until September 2024.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the big three mobile network operators have all recently launched 4G trial networks, with market leader Viettel the first to get the ball rolling in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in December 2015. Around 200 4G BTS were installed to provide coverage in parts of Vung Tau City, Ba Ria City and the rural Long Dien District. VNPT-Vinaphone, meanwhile, launched LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) trials over 50 BTS on the island of Phu Quoc and 100 BTS in several districts of Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City. Most recently, July 2016 saw MobiFone activate a pilot LTE-A network in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City. The trio are expected to launch commercial 4G networks in the near future.