Vietnam moved to promote the uptake of smartphones to advance its digital ambitions, issuing a regulation banning the production and import of 2G and 3G handsets from the beginning of July, Vietnam News reported.
The new rule from the Ministry of Information and Communications allows only 4G and 5G handsets to be produced or imported into the country, with the target of switching off 2G networks in Q1 2022, the newspaper stated.
The regulation permits non-complying handsets made and imported prior to 1 July to be sold.
The country previously set a target for all residents to own smartphones by 2025.
Just 21 per cent of the nation’s 154 million mobile connections ran on LTE networks at end-December 2020, data from GSMA Intelligence showed. Smartphone penetration increased to 61.4 per cent from 53.7 per cent at end-2019.
In 2020, major operators Viettel, Mobifone and Vinaphone tested commercial 5G services in parts of the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, using trial licences.
Fitch Solutions predicted in May 2020 operators in the country would quickly move to 5G as the government had prioritised the technology and the nation’s mature handset manufacturing capabilities offered advantages around device costs.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back