HANOI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese telecom service providers are scrambling to put up base transceiver stations and pilot 4G services to be ready to officially offer them in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017.
The Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT-VinaPhone) has been providing 4G services on Vietnam's southern Phu Quoc Island since November 2016 after a year of preparation. The group plans to offer the services in capital Hanoi, southern Ho Chi Minh City and 10 other cities and provinces in Q1.
Around 21,000 4G base transceiver stations have been installed by VinaPhone to provide the nationwide services this year, Luong Manh Hoang, deputy general director of VNPT and chairman of VNPT VinaPhone, was quoted by local Vietnam News online newspaper on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the military-run Viettel Group will provide 4G SIM cards to all its customers by March 1, 2017 after beginning the task in late 2016.
Viettel had planned to start 4G services in early January, but was delayed by some technical problems. The launch of services is expected no later than the end of March.
Like Viettel, the state-owned MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation (MobiFone) under Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has already started to issue 4G SIMs to customers, with the number already crossing a million.
MIC chief Truong Minh Tuan has recently called on all mobile phone service providers to quickly and safely deploy 4G services country-wide, reported Vietnam News.