The Ministry of Information and Communications is expected to issue 4G service licenses in Vietnam by the end of this year when local telecom firms have completed their pilot plans for the new service.
VinaPhone, Viettel Group, MobiFone and FPT Telecom Corp have test run 4G services. FPT Telecom was the last firm allowed to pilot the service though it sought approval late last year.
A representative of FPT Telecom said the company is preparing for the pilot launch of the service.
The ministry plans to approve the firms with successful pilot programs to go ahead with the 4G service this year.
At a meeting last week, the ministry called on the Authority of Radio Frequency Management (ARFM) to speed up procedures for licensing the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service on the 1800 MHz frequency band by the year-end. Licensing may take place at the end of the third quarter or the start of the fourth quarter.
The ARFM said infrastructure is ready for the 4G service to be launched on a wider scale. The frequency band for 4G has been in place and the network operators are awaiting approval to commercially provide the service.
After having successfully tested 4G in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Phu Quoc Island and HCMC, VinaPhone and Viettel have sought approval from the ministry to launch the service in order to make them more proactive in drawing up sale plans and investing in building stations and operation systems for the service.
The ministry has permitted 4G on the 1800 MHz frequency band which was previous used for 2G. Mobile carriers licensed for 2G will be eligible to provide 4G on this band.
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