Vietnam 5G services will launch without the help of Huawei
According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications website, the southeast Asian country plans to launch commercial 5G mobile services this year and won’t be using Huawei equipment to do so.
Last year, the country’s largest telecommunication company, Viettel, was awarded the first trial 5G license. The telecom, which has more than 60 million subscribers, will deploy Ericsson’s equipment in Hanoi and Nokia’s technology in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as 5G smartphones with chipsets from Qualcomm, commented Viettel CEO Le Dang Dung.
“We are not going to work with Huawei right now,” Dung is quoted by the South Morning China Post. “It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.”
According to local media, Vietnam’s smaller telecom carriers also appear to be moving away from Huawei with MobiFone using Samsung equipment and Vietnam Telecom Services Company, and Vinaphone partnering with Nokia to deploy its 5G network.
Despite Viettel’s dominance over the Vietnamese market, MobiFone and Vinaphone plan to launch their own 5G networks by 2021. For all carriers, Viettel included, 5G growth is highly dependent on the availability of affordable smartphones.
In an effort to secure said phones, Vietnam’s Vingroup JSC signed a deal with Qualcomm and a unit of Japan’s Fujitsu last June to produce 5G smartphones in the country. According to Vinegroup, the phones will be manufactured in Hanoi and will be sold in U.S. and European markets beginning in April of this year.
In related news, Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week and the two parties agreed to improve Japanese-Vietnamese cooperation to strengthen the development of reliable and secure 5G networks.
Phuc said that he wants Japanese companies to launch businesses in Vietnam, while Takaichi stated that Japan will support Vietnam’s plan to launch an electronic government system in for form of information technology equipment worth 500 million yen.