Vietnam - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 20 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 91

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Vietnam prepares to close GSM networks to support 5G services

As a communist state and a centrally planned economy Vietnam has undergone significant structural changes over the years. The government has progressively introduced a degree of competition into the economy, and in this regard it plans to part privatise the state’s holdings in telcos as well as a large number of other enterprises.

Fixed broadband penetration in Vietnam remains relatively low, mainly due to the limited number of fixed lines and the dominance of the mobile platform. Internet speeds are also relatively low, and although there is good connectivity via submarine cables the frequent cable breaks have given the country a reputation for unreliable connectivity.

Fixed broadband access is dominated by DSL though in recent years the government has focussed on fibre, and growth in the sector is largely based on expanding fibre infrastructure.

Growth in Vietnam’s mobile market over the past five years has been moderate, in part due to the high penetration. Subscriber growth is expected to remain e relatively low over the next few years, though it will be stimulated by the development of 5G services among operators, and by the government’s efforts to make smartphone ownership universal. The country is well on the path towards commercialising 5G services, with test licenses having been issued in early 2019 and services anticipated by the end of 2020. The government’s plans for 5G include repurposing GSM spectrum from 2022 and granting licenses for spectrum in the 2.6GHz range to increase network quality.

Ho Chi Minh City is set to become the first smart city in Vietnam, focusing on cloud computing infrastructure, big data, data warehouses and data centres and security-monitoring centres, and developing an open data ecosystem to achieve its 2020 goal.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments

  • The MIC considers plans to close down GSM infrastructure from the beginning of 2022 and repurpose spectrum for LTE and 5G;
  • Vietnamese MNOs gear up for 5G commercial launches by mid-2020;
  • Viettel trials 2.6GHz range for LTE services;
  • Report update includes operator data for 2019, regulator’s market data to January 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.
  • assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector,

Companies mentioned in this report

VNPT; Vinaphone; Mobifone; Viettel; S-Fone; EVN Telecom; Vietnamobile, GMobile, FPT Telecom; VTC; GTel

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