The importance of 5G to the local technology market and how it will change the picture of the technology market in the future?
Vietnam has long stated its plan to provide 5G coverage nationwide by 2030. The ability to offer all citizens highspeed Internet connection at low cost, is a priority of National significance according to the Vietnam authority of Communication.
Nationwide roll-out of 5G coverage will, of course, require a step-by-step approach. Major cities like Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang have been prioritized to deploy 5G due to their higher need for high-speed services and denser populations. Industrial areas which attract foreign investment, are also prioritized to facilitate the development of smart factories.
Viettel, MobiFone, and VNPT have been trialing 5G services with their users since November 2020. A recent test, jointly conducted by Viettel, Ericsson and Qualcomm at Viettel Innovation Lab, has successfully established 5G data transmission speeds of more than 4.7Gb/s -- 40 times faster than 4G, and more than twice as fast as the existing 5G network. Viettel's test confirms the incredible capacity of 5G ultra-short wave (mmWave) technology the operator is deploying in Vietnam.
The Ministry of Information and Communications ("MoIC") has been tasked with the initiative of commercializing 5G in Vietnam. By all accounts, mobile operators will price 5G services at rates equivalent to existing 4G services. Users would not be required to change their SIM cards. Vietnam's digital economy totalled US$14 billion in 2020. The deployment of 5G is expected to boost this figure significantly. Indeed, the contribution of 5G to GDP is forecast to reach 7.34% by 2025. While, perhaps ambitious in terms of the timeline, Vietnam has high hopes for 5G on its medium-term horizon.
Digital transformation, e-commerce
With a view to accelerating digital transformation, the government has initiated various programs to boost tourism management and promotions, infrastructure investment, digitization of the postal sector, digitization of the logistics sector, and e-commerce, among others.
Telecommunication infrastructure, including mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure, is defined as one pillar of the digital economy. The development of broadband infrastructure enabled the development of all economic sectors. 5G promises to deliver broadband-level speed, wirelessly, to millions of users where they access it most – their phones.
Interest has been noted in the application of 5G technology to agriculture, high-tech industry, including smart factories, and smart cities. The Vietnam Telecommunications Authority plans to deploy 5G, with priority going to industrial parks, high-tech parks, as well as high-density urban centers and central business districts of major cities.
As Vietnam, along with the rest of the world, transitions toward an increasingly digital economy, data and one's ability to make use of it, progressively becomes more crucial.
Improvements to Vietnam's mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure will continue to contribute to the country's development. Telecom infrastructure is key for development of the digital economy. Bleeding edge technologies like Internet of Things ("IoT"), Artificial Intelligence ("AI"), Big Data, network security, digital identity, digital government, and electronic payment platforms all rely on widespread and fast, and affordable connectivity.
- The benefits of 5G for mobile operators in Vietnam
According to statistics of the Telecommunications Department, in 2021, the number of fixed broadband subscribers exceeded 17 million, while the number of mobile broadband subscribers exceeded 69 million. Mobile operators stand to benefit from a new revenue stream that can be marketed to the vast number of mobile broadband subscribers.
Commenting on the development of Vietnam's telecom market, Chairman of the the Radio and Electronics Association of Vietnam, Tran Duc Lai, said that in 2021, local telecom network operators have deployed 5G and achieved "very positive results." Vietnam will continue to test 5G services on a broadening scale.
The government is especially interested in the application of 5G technology in agriculture, high-tech industry and the 4th industrial revolution.
- Any new trends in the local technology market you foresee
With high capacity and ultra-low latency, 5G will enable meaningful use of AI enabled technologies and IoT applications across a range of use cases and sectors. As enterprises employ 5G as a means to process and analyze more data, revenues and valuations are expected to increase, as businesses become better equipped to monetize huge amounts of data.
Developments in technology, powered by 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem to new industries. The global digital economy is projected to reach a value of US$13.1 trillion by 2035.1 Much of its growth will be fueled by 5G connectivity. Precision agriculture, construction and mining, digitized education, connected healthcare, smart manufacturing, intelligent retail, and connected smart cities are areas where development will be catalyzed and enabled by 5G coverage.
Private 5G networks will revolutionize container ports, warehousing and logistics, airports, hospitals, hospitality, manufacturing, farming and more.
In the healthcare context, for example, Doctors and patients will be more connected than ever. Wearable devices will alert providers when a patient is experiencing symptoms. For example, an internal defibrillator could automatically alert emergency room cardiologists of a patient experiencing symptoms, allowing physicians to prepare for the incoming patient -- complete with a full record of data collected by the device, in real time.
Data has been likened to the oil of the future. Data will fuel the growth of most sectors, and agriculture is no exception. Farms will increasingly consume more data, while relying on fewer chemicals. Sensors installed directly in fields, allow farmers to identify, with incredible precision, which areas require additional water, pest management, or show signs of an invasive disease.
As economies of scale and manufacturing efficiencies make wearable technology more affordable, 5G enables networks with large numbers of IoT devices. For example, farmers can use health monitoring devices for livestock, gaining much more accurate and timely health data. This allows for significant reductions in the use of antibiotics, without risking the safety of food supply chains.
The convergence of AI, and IoT, powered by 5G, will result in major transformations to factory floors. Predictive maintenance will help minimize downtime and reduce costs. Factories will also utilize 5G to analyze and control industrial processes with an exceptional degree of precision, not possible prior to 5G. Traditional quality control processes, will be streamlined via sensor technology and AI – all made possible thanks vast improvements in connectivity offered by 5G.
In logistics and shipping, 5G allows greater communication between vehicles of a fleet. Vehicles can also communicate with infrastructure along the route. Navigation and monitoring of vehicles will improve with 5G, resulting in better route planning, shorter delivery times, and lower instances of driver error and accidents. Augmented reality systems used to identify potential hazards, without diverting a driver's attention away from the road, could be employed and powered by 5G.
- The importance of 5G to sustainable development in Vietnam
A traditionally agricultural-based economy, Vietnam has experienced rapid digital transformation driven by the government's push toward "improvements to the digital identity, digital citizenship, and digital lifestyle components."
Digital transformation is viewed as a key factor to boosting the economy and fostering sustainable development. 5G enables initiatives aimed at improving smart water use, innovative energy inventory and management for large buildings, smart traffic management technology, and remote sensors that compile air quality data.
For example, reducing vehicle emissions with the use of intelligent traffic signal control systems has been shown to lead to up to 20% lower emissions. Radar and cameras are used to respond to traffic conditions as they change in real time. The result is that vehicles spend significantly less time stopping or idling at intersections, leading to significant reductions in emissions.
Smart communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure could allow prioritization for high-occupancy vehicles, before vehicles approach intersections, maximizing travel efficiency.
Smart water monitoring for agricultural applications—tracking rainfall, plants' water requirements, sun exposure, and weather predictions – rely on precise measurements enabled by 5G powered devices. While this technology already exists, 5G promises to make it more efficient and accessible.
As technological advances, legal developments often lag behind. Recent and impending changes to Vietnam's data protection law have the potential to restrict the free flow of data. The implications on data intensive technologies powered by 5G are yet to be seen.
1. The 5G Economy in a Post-COVID-19 Era – an independent study from IHS Markit, commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
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