Vietnamese market leader Viettel has officially launched its 4G service.
The operator has claimed that its network will provide average download speeds of 30Mb/s to 50Mb/s, making it between seven and ten times faster than its 3G network. It has also claimed that its 4G data tariffs will at launch be around 40%-60% cheaper than its original 3G tariffs.
Viettel stepped up its 4G infrastructure deployment in March with the aim of achieving nationwide coverage by this month; in the past six months, it has installed 36,000 LTE base stations. It claims to be the first operator in Vietnam to accomplish this goal, stating that its 4G coverage extends across 95% of Vietnam’s population.
Hoang Son, deputy general director of Viettel Group, noted that the network should allay concerns among customers that the rapidly-advancing technology would become inaccessible to them in terms of pricing, saying: “We want to bring 4G to all Vietnamese people across the country, even in the most remote areas. With the view of building a 4G network ‘for everyone’ Viettel will not let any Vietnamese stand outside the development of the technology.”
In October 2016, four operators were awarded 4G licences in the 1.8GHz band by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications. While number three VinaPhone was technically first when it launched commercial 4G in November, its coverage was limited to Phu Quoc Island. It has now begun offering the service in Dong Nai province, after conducting trials in January across 100 base stations in Ho Chi Minh City.
Viettel, which is run by the country’s military, leads the Vietnamese market with 51 million subscribers giving it a 37% share.