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Research by Country/Region January 20, 2018  
Vietnam: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE WORLDWIDE FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND (3.4 TO 3.7 GHZ), LMDS (28 TO 31 GHZ), AND UNLICENSED BAND

In general, the radio frequency spectrum is currently governed by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) of Vietnam and should be operated in compliance with the rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The license to use world wide fixed wireless access band is subject to MPT’s approval. Vietnam does not yet permit the use of unlicensed radio frequency spectrum, particularly for use of wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) systems.

B. DEMAND OR NEED FOR BROADBAND FIXED WIRELESS SERVICE

Vietnam is anxious to “catch up” to the latest technology and make use of it to improve economic development, education, and poverty alleviation. The Vietnamese government recognizes that for a developing country such as Vietnam, broadband communications including fixed wireless access has great potential for addressing current infrastructure challenges. A number of broadband access services have been trialed in Vietnam including ISDN, DSL, etc. These trials are showing that there is a demand for these services in Vietnam. In addition, the ambitious government target to make access to internet and telecommunications services, particularly for rural and remote areas, equal to other countries in the region holds great potential for broadband services covering fixed wireless access.

C. LICENSING

In general, any telecommunications services provider needs an operating license in Vietnam. for telecommunications services, foreign service providers are currently allowed to operate under a business cooperation contract (BCC) in Vietnam. According to the U.S. – Vietnam bilateral trade agreement (BTA), U.S. firms may form a joint-venture (JV) in Vietnam this coming December. Foreign companies now must have official certification on equipment standardization issued by the MPT. For BFW, the operation also needs the permission from the MPT to use radio band(s) and must pay for the use of that band(s). The foreign company also needs a local partner who has a license to operate in Vietnam.

Point of contact in government of Vietnam for obtaining telecommunications services license is the MPT http://www.mpt.gov.vn. The Department of Post & Telecommunications – Information Technology Quality Control is responsible for technical standardization certification. The Department of Radio Frequency Management is responsible for radio frequency band(s) issues.

D. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LIMITS

E. INTERCONNECTION TARIFFS

It is expected that BFW access will be provided through internet service providers (ISPs) in Vietnam. A BFW operator must also be licensed as an ISP in Vietnam and must have permission to rent radio frequency band(s).

F. OTHER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING BFW

To the best of Post’s knowledge, there are currently no specific regulations in Vietnam for BFW.

G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?

As mentioned above, local ISPs can apply for a license to provide BFW services. Vietnam is currently providing broadband services by ISDN, DSL, VSAT and Wi-Fi on a trial basis and it is reported that those services will be provided to the general public in the near future. According to the regulations, foreign entities can also apply for a license to become an ISP and/or internet exchange provider (IXP) (or formerly Internet Access Provider (IAP). A local ISP/IXP can provide BFW if trial services are approved by the Vietnamese government.

H. CURRENT LIST OF BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS

The Vietnam data communications company (VDC) is currently running the pilot Wi-Fi program for public Internet use and access. It is depending on ‘backhaul’ connectivity of this service to be considered a broadband service. DSL and VSAT connections are currently the most suitable way to provide broadband services in Vietnam.

The pilot service is operating in 2.4 ghz – 2.4835 ghz (for 802.11b) which has recently been approved by the MPT, on a case-by-case basis.

Cisco is the most popular equipment supplier. Others include D-link, Dell, Allied Telesyn, SMC, and Linksys.

The pilot Wi-Fi program is currently being conducted in Hanoi (VDC headquarters).

An unofficial industry source said that BFW services will be provided to tenants in software park(s) using VSAT as a “backhaul” connection. The service, once approved, will be expanded to provide to outside clients within a 15 km radius using point-to-point and/or point-to-multi-point technology.

I. CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, AND IMPORT DUTIES

Please see above answers for regulations, certification procedures, etc. The import duties vary from 5 percent to 60 percent.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in June 2003. For further clarification please contact:

Nguyen Hoa
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, Ho Chi Minh City
Nguyen.Hoa @mail.doc.gov

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