As expected, Viettel has now become the first 5G carrier in Vietnam, after the launch of a 5G commercial trial following a period of technical tests.
Customers using 5G-enabled cell phones in Hanoi’s downtown areas of Hoan Kiem District, Ba Dinh District and Hai Ba Trung District can now enjoy 5G services without a SIM card upgrade.
During the trial period, Viettel says it will provide unlimited 5G data free of charge.
In common with a number of early 5G rollouts, Viettel's 5G base transceiver stations use non-standalone access (NSA) technology. NSA allows operators to leverage their existing network investments in communications and mobile core instead of deploying a new core for 5G.
Viettel says that all of its 5G antennas are state-of-the-art 64T64R type (64 transmitters and 64 receivers) that double both radius of coverage and capacity compared to the 4T4R antennas (four transmitters and four receivers) commonly used in Vietnam.
Initial tests show that Viettel's 5G speed reached 1.2 - 1.5 Gbps, the highest in Vietnam, where Viettel says it is a pioneer in researching and manufacturing 5G equipment.
In fact the telecommunications giant (it is not only the dominant network operator in Vietnam but has developed telecommunication services in a number of other countries) has been testing 5G services for some while. It was granted a licence by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications to conduct 5G trials in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as long ago as January 2019.
After Hanoi, Viettel will continue to expand the 5G network; it is now planning commercial tests in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.