VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese mobile network operators have acknowledged that the mobile internet speed in too low, blaming this on the late deployment of 4G technology.
A report on mobile internet speed released by Swedish Ericsson Telecom showed that the speed in Vietnam was even lower than in Myanmar, which opened internet access two decades after Vietnam.
The average mobile data transmission in Vietnam is 160 kbps, 135 times lower than in Singapore and four times lower than in Myanmar.
Mobile network operators, however, say the speed is not as low as reported by Ericsson.
The network operators think that Ericsson used information it collected on Ookala’s Speedtest.net, a tool that examines internet connection speed.
Ericsson collected data at different times and in different places. For example, in one country, it collected data in the area with the best mobile internet infrastructure.
Meanwhile, in another country, it collected data in the area with the worst conditions.
Meanwhile, many countries in Ericsson’s report have deployed 4G technology, while Vietnam still has 3G.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 4G allows users to access internet at a speed 10 times faster than 3G.
When asked why the mobile internet speed in Vietnam was even lower than in Myanmar, mobile network operators said 4G was used on a trial basis in the country, and as such the speed there could be higher than in Vietnam.
Mobile network operators blame the slow mobile internet speed in Vietnam to the delay in utilizing new technology; 4G still cannot be applied because of the watchdog agency’s hesitance.
An expert said the Ministry of Information and Communication wanted to give more time to telcos to take back their investment capital on 3G infrastructure items.
However, the expert said the reason was unconvincing. 4G has become popular worldwide because it provides many services which require broadband such as high-quality film viewing and audio for music.
He cited a report from the World Bank as saying that a high percentage of users and broadband internet speed both have a positive impact on countries’ development.
Meanwhile, another expert warned that telcos need to think carefully about the time to deploy 4G, saying that users will have to buy devices with 4G technology, which are priced at no less than VND7-8 million.
Viettel has officially kicked off the 4G new race among mobile network operators, stating that it will begin providing 4G services in October. Just one day after the military telecom group Viettel announced a plan to provide 4G services, VinaPhone said its 4G services would be available in the market in October or November.