Strengthening partnerships for efficient 5G networking

Dec 03, 2023

While Vietnam’s readiness for 5G commercialisation is in the pipeline, strengthening public-private partnerships is now more crucial to help fast-track the process.

Strengthening partnerships for efficient 5G networking
Experts and business leaders have been discussing exactly how Vietnam can tap into its big digital potential, Photo: Dung Minh

At last week’s talk show on being 5G-ready for Vietnam’s digital transformation, hosted by VIR, Nguyen Hoa Cuong, vice president of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), said, “While we never talked about the implications for private sector development in the past with 2G and 3G, 5G is opening new doors for the business community, with the rise of nano-entrepreneurs and private enterprises. That’s because 5G is the enabler for many other technologies, besides being a technological innovation on its own.”

Business tie-ups are expected to be further strengthened in the months to come as some look to tap into the potential of 5G and make the network ready for the digital transformation of virtually any sector of industry or society, according to representatives from 5G industry leaders and policymakers at last week’s event.

Last year saw the establishment of some key partnerships for 5G. They include cooperation between Viettel, Ericsson, and Qualcomm to research, test, and successfully establish 5G data transmission speed of over 4.7Gbps. This is 40 times faster than 4G and twice as fast as currently available 5G speeds.

A partnership between RMIT and Ericsson for an education initiative on 5G in Vietnam is also in the works. Dedicated 5G networks can play an important role in the connectivity of higher education institutions as data demands grow, and the collaboration between universities and networking and telecommunications companies will help fast-track the process.

Having rich experience in digital transformation in the education sector, Nguyen Thanh Son, founder and chairman of MVV Academy, acknowledged this partnership represents an important step forward in the direction of building a future market-ready workforce in Vietnam. “Hopefully, this will also inspire other universities and schools to include 5G courses into their offering,” he noted.

MVV Academy also recently worked with AI testing company Genetica to deploy training for their professionals and got a glimpse of how a medtech-driven company investing in changing the mindsets of those working for them could make an impact on smarter healthcare.

VMware, meanwhile, has plans to leverage global partners including Nokia and Ericsson to share experience with local telco players in Vietnam. It also plans to work closely with industry partners and government bodies to build an open ecosystem for 5G and deliver solutions for enterprises to capitalise on cloud and 5G capabilities.

In 2020, the government approved the National Digital Transformation Programme for 2025 with a vision towards 2030. It called on all sectors to accelerate change and grab more involvement from the private sector.

For instance, the Ministry of Health initiated a partnership with the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) for digital transformation in the health sector, calling on private stakeholders such as IT businesses to contribute different technology solutions.

Similarly, insurance providers have long communicated about technology and digitalisation of processes and are actively contributing to the digitalisation of data and information when paying for healthcare services, according to speakers at last week’s talk show.

Elsewhere in the healthcare sector, pharmaceutical corporations have leveraged technology to roll out medical content hubs for healthcare professionals and the community, such as MedHub from Novartis, Smarthub by Pfizer, and A:Care from Abbott.

Central and larger public hospitals have also started digitalising their operations systems by diversifying payment options and implementing e-invoicing. In addition, robotic applications are becoming more popular in central-level hospitals.

To obtain the target of licensing 5G commercialisation in 2022, the MIC is taking bold moves. The government issued Decree No.88/2021/ND-CP last year on collecting fees for granting the right to use radio frequencies, auction, licensing, and transfer of the right to use radio frequencies for frequency bands. This is critical for auctioning and licensing 4G and 5G mobile bands, as well as removing bottlenecks in the legal framework for auctioning, licensing, and transferring radio frequency rights.

The MIC has also issued specific 5G standards on related base station equipment, communication terminal equipment, and the quality of Internet access services on 5G terrestrial mobile networks.

Cuong of CIEM elaborated that implementing 5G presents several challenges. These include infrastructure readiness, the time taken to provide services, and cost optimisation. “In fact, 5G has made a crucial contribution to our e-commerce, which plays an important role in Vietnam’s digital economy, and will continue to accelerate the development of other industries like AI, big data, and many others.”

Regarding enterprises’ investment in science, technology, and innovation, he added that they make up less than 1 per cent of revenues, which is low compared to ASEAN neighbours, with 9 per cent investment on average, or 30-50 per cent for countries like South Korea and Japan.

At the talk show, some valuable lessons Vietnam could learn from neighbouring countries were outlined. Son of MVV Academy suggested that the first is motivating all stakeholders from teachers and regulators to edtech companies and students. For instance, in Singapore, edtech companies would include content that motivates all their stakeholders in communication programmes, including gamification to motivate children or other users to learn.

The second is more flexibility in learning. In China, the Ministry of Education partnered with the Ministry of Industry and IT to mobilise society-wide resources for the provision of online courses and adopt flexible methodologies to facilitate learning through TVs or mobile apps, among others.

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