Only two of the seven Vietnamese operators awarded trial LTE licences last year have reportedly done anything with them, with one yet to even contact the regulator to pick up its licence. “Most of the companies have taken no actions towards providing 4G services, though they got the licences a long time ago,” a source told the Buu dien newspaper. Of the seven licensees, only VNPT (owner of operators Vinaphone and Mobifone), and the military-owned Viettel have begun deployments, notes the report. VNPT has to date deployed 15 LTE base stations in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, capable of speeds of up to 60Mb/s. Meanwhile, Viettel has announced that it has been rolling out LTE equipment in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in cooperation with Huawei.
Alongside VNPT and Viettel, five other state-affiliated operators have been given preliminary LTE licences: FPT Telecom, CMC Telecom, Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC), EVN Telecom and GTel. The licences were awarded in September 2010 and are valid for one year, so in some cases could expire before they have been used. Earlier this week Viettel held a press conference to announce the “successful testing” of its new LTE network, showcasing a range of services including video streaming, live TV, HD video calling, video conferencing, and video and TV on demand. However, it does not expect to launch commercial LTE services until 2014 at the earliest.