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Mobile network operators compete in tight 4G race

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After four months of deploying 4G on a trial basis in large cities and provinces, mobile network operators are hurrying to complete the infrastructure system to officially provide services throughout the country. 

Experiments have shown that 4G internet access speed is 50-80 Mbps on average, or 7-10 times higher than 3G.

This is the reason that mobile network operators have proposed using 4G sooner than initially planned by the watchdog agency. 

Soon after getting operation licenses, three largest network operators – Viettel, MobiFone and VinaPhone –  geared up for 4G deployment.

Tao Duc Thang, deputy CEO of Viettel, the military telco, said Viettel has nearly completed the installation of 36,000 4G stations within six months. 

The network operator is believed to have the highest number of 4G stations among the three big telecom players. It is also developing infrastructure items to get ready for longer-term strategy – deploying 5G and 6G in upcoming years.

VinaPhone initially planned to begin providing 4G in a large scale in late March. However, it has changed the plan, though the preparatory works have been completed. 

Planning to set up 21,000 4G stations by the end of 2017, VinaPhone said it would focus on urban areas.

Meanwhile, MobiFone and Gtel, which have also got licenses for 4G deployment, are quiet amid the preparation by their rivals. 

Though affirming that it will begin providing 4G services throughout the country soon, MobiFone has declined to say when.  

A MobiFone representative said 4,500 4G stations have been set up, while in 2017, it would install 8,000 stations in 53 provinces and cities. In the immediate time, it would focus on setting up stations in Hanoi, HCMC, Hai Phong, Can Tho and Da Nang.

Analysts commented that the 4G competition among network operators is different from the 3G ones launched in 2009-2010.

At that time, as both VinaPhone and MobiFone belonged to VNPT, they had advantages in infrastructure and ‘opened the games’. 

Only half a year later, did Viettel join the playing field, where there were other players such as EVN Telecom and Vietnamobile. The service fee was the major ‘weapon’ in the competition. 

However, competing in service fee and coverage area is no longer the strategy pursued by network operators, but they will have to compete in quality because the telecom market is different from it was 7-10 years ago.

An expert said 4G deployment will succeed only if customers have constant high speed connections.

 

 

Source: VietNamNet

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