Vietnam’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Viettel Telecom, plans to launch its 4G LTE network in the first quarter of next year, VietNamNet quotes the company’s deputy general director, Hoang Son, as saying. VNPT-Vinaphone became the country’s first commercial provider of LTE services when it activated its 1800MHz network on Phu Quoc Island last week, and the operator expects to deploy 21,000 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) across the country by the end of 2017. Viettel, meanwhile, will focus on offering 4G services nationwide from launch, Hoang Son revealed. ‘Internet access will open up many opportunities for rural residents to learn, consume entertainment, find jobs and generally narrow the gap between urban and rural areas,’ he said.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, military-run Viettel began trialling an LTE network 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. Last month the firm was awarded a 4G 1800MHz licence by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), alongside VNPT-Vinaphone, MobiFone and GTel Mobile.