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Vietnam Could Permit 4G Services by Year-End

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Vietnam's government has approved plans to permit 4G based services in the country, but it is still wary about spare capacity on the 3G networks not being used.

The mobile networks were granted licenses to test LTE services four years ago, but since then the government hasn't made any more moves to issuing commercial licenses.

Along side the issue of there still being surplus capacity on the 3G network, there have been concerns that 4G services might prove too expensive for consumers. This is belied by the fact that most countries have ended up with 4G services being offered at the same price as 3G services.

A Viettel executive told Vietnam News, "Vietnamese people's incomes are not enough for them to buy equipment that support 4G."

Besides, investment in 3G was massive but its capacity had not been fully exploited yet, he said.

"Most customers now opt for the cheapest 3G packages, and if 4G technology is developed, the situation will be like building more highways when there are few vehicles."

Despite those misgivings, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang said the ministry would begin to issue licenses for 4G networks next year.

"2017-2018 will be the time to launch 4G because at that time the number of 3G subscribers will be 50-60 per cent, a good level for shifting to 4G."

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Tags: viettel  lte  4g  Vietnam