Vietnam-based operator Viettel claimed to be the sixth company in the world to successfully produce 5G radio network equipment after leading vendors Ericsson; ZTE; Huawei; Samsung; and Nokia, having developed its own base station kit in just six months.

The announcement came at the company’s demonstration of a 5G connection on its Make in Vietnam device, which it said uses its self-developed gNodeB transceiver.

Viettel unveiled its ambitious plan to rely on its own equipment during 2019, but since then announced it would use Nokia and Ericsson equipment. In its latest statement, it was unclear if it now planned to use its home-grown kit exclusively.

The operator added its equipment meets 3GPP standards and would help in deploying 5G to create “the best experience” for customers.

In a translated statement, Vietnam minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said: “We are very happy that Viettel is the sixth company in the world to have the opportunity to start commercialising 5G [meeting] official ITU standardisation. This is a very rare opportunity, creating a R&D platform for Vietnam”.

A launch of 5G using local kit is backed by the country’s government, which supported the initiative at its national assembly in 2019. Viettel aims to launch commercial and military services starting in June.

In addition to its home market, Viettel operates across ten countries.