VietNamNet Bridge – Now is not the right time for Vietnam to shift to 4G services while 3G technology has only been commercialized at home over the last three years, said the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
MIC made the statement after several technology firms recently called for Vietnam to switch to 4G services as local consumers are unsatisfied with the slow data transmission speed of the current 3G technology.
A survey conducted in Hanoi, Danang and HCMC by market research firm Nielsen and Buu Dien (post) newspaper released earlier this month indicates local consumers are not really satisfied with the quality of 3G services.
As per the report, the index of customer satisfaction towards 3G services’ quality slumped to 64 out of 100 points this year from 71/100 in 2011. Relating to data transmission speed, as much as 92% of 3G users when asked said the speed is the most important element of the services.
However, only 55% of 3G users feel satisfied with the transmission data that they used in 2012, which is much lower than the ratio of 64% as reported in 2011. Specifically, up to 26% of 3G users show dissatisfaction and 19% remark high dissatisfaction with the speed of data transmission, while 56% expect service providers to improve connection speed and quality of service further.
According to Le Nam Thang, Deputy Minister of MIC, 3G network operators now are confronted with three challenges – weak coverage capacity, infrastructure overload in case of sudden data volume increases and poor value-added services for the technology.
What service providers need to do now is to optimize technical infrastructure of broadband services for the stable and sustainable development of 3G networks to ensure rapid data transmission speed as expected by local users, Thang insisted.
Under the national telecom development zoning plan by 2020, Vietnam will only consider granting operational licenses for 4G technology and the next generations based on auctions and examinations after 2015, MIC reports.
In fact, local telecom companies have just launched 3G services for three years, meaning they need more time to effectively exploit technical infrastructure which they had invested in. Besides, there are not many terminals applicable to 4G technology in the market, making their prices high. Therefore, it would be wasteful if Vietnam shifts to 4G right now, according to MIC.