Commercialization of 5G in Vietnam and Foreign invertors

Vietnam is among the first countries to adopt the newest network technology – 5G with a plan for commercialization in 2022.
5G  is expected to revolutionize many key industries
5G is expected to revolutionize many key industries

Vietnam plans to license 5th generation (5G) commercialization in 2022 and expand 5G coverage in urban areas and high-tech industrial zones. This involves increasing the number of digital enterprises from 58,000 to 100,000 by 2025 as part of the National Digital Transformation Plan, aiming to build a digital government and economy, and eventually a digital society.

This widescale deployment will make use of around 70 percent of the existing 4G infrastructure, following several small-scaled commercial trials in 2020-2021.

The digital economy plays a pivotal role in facilitating Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy, expected to contribute 7 percent of GDP in 2025 and 7.5 percent by 2030. Contributing to this, 5G is projected to create US$13.1 trillion and two million new jobs by 2035.

Considered to be a frontrunner in the development race of 5G network alongside other tech giants such as the USA, China and Japan; Vietnam has already licensed its 3 main carriers (Viettel, Mobifone and VNPT) for trial test 16 cities and provinces nationwide. Each carrier has seen targeted a different region with Viettel sets its sight on Hanoi with 140 base stations while Mobifone conducted trials in Ho Chi Minh city with 50 base stations. During the trial, Viettel used Samsung’s advanced 5G solutions to power its commercial network, which enabled users in Da Nang to experience the full benefits of 5G services. This marks the country’s rising efforts in ensuring the best network infrastructure for digital government development while supporting businesses and growth in developing areas.
Vietnam aims to initially deploy 5G in major urban areas and high growth industry zones, eventually bringing the benefits of digital transformation to key industries, such as manufacturing, logistics, and agriculture.
Logistics - Agriculture - Manufacturing: 3 main sectors that will benefit the most from 5G
Among the many fields and sectors that will benefit from the implementation of 5G network, Logistics - Agriculture and Manufacturing will see the most changes - changes so big that we can even call it a revolution. So what does this translate to opportunities and challenges for foreign investors?

Despite the first strong steps towards piloting 5G, there are still many challenges to optimizing its implementation in Vietnam. For example, network operators encounter problems such as investment costs, frequency licensing, and not having enough users to make a profit.

Besides the costly implementation, they might face the risk that 5G-enabled devices have not yet been widely popular with consumers which results in less demand for this technology, making it hard to balance costs and benefits.

To combat these, Vietnam is implementing solutions to accelerate 5G coverage by mobilizing network operators to share base stations. Specifically, in the early stages of 5G development, each carrier will cover 25 percent of the country’s area and perform roaming together to reduce investment costs. The MIC (Ministry of Information and Communications) aims to have 25 percent of the population using 5G by 2025. 

With the commercialization of 5G, Vietnam is gradually transforming its digital landscape. However, to fully leverage the capabilities of 5G, technology developers and service providers in Vietnam need to scale the new technologies with speed and agility.

This means the ecosystem needs to come together and find new ways to collaborate and co-create to help Vietnam implement digital transformation and achieve its Industry 4.0 vision with 5G.


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