Broadband will help create a “miracle on the Red River”

Foreign experts have urged Vietnam to build and carry out a national strategy on broadband development, stressing that it will be the key to help Vietnam become an information technology (IT) power in the world.

Several days ago Vietnam announced an ambitious plan to become an information technology power in the world and verbally committed to gathering strength to realize the plan.  When giving advice about what Vietnam needs to do to reach that goal, experts have stressed that developing broadband will help Vietnam successfully implement the plan. Vietnamese experts themselves also think that it is reasonable and necessary to develop a national strategy on broadband development at this moment.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam has witnessed strong development in many economic fields, including telecommunications. Besides urban areas and big cities, rural areas should also be seen as potential areas for broadband development. In order to exploit the market, the first thing that Vietnam needs to do is to expand connections.

A representative of Huawei Group, who did not conceal his high expectations for Vietnam’s national strategy on broadband development, said that Vietnam can absolutely create a “miracle on the Red River” like South Korea once created a “miracle on the Han River”.

A “miracle on the Han River” refers to South Korea’s highly accelerated export-fueled economic growth, including rapid industrialization, technological achievement, education boom, exponential rise in living standards, rapid urbanization, skyscraper boom, modernization, fast democratization and globalization that miraculously transformed the country from the ashes of the Korean war to a wealthy and highly developed country today.

The representative said that in 1985, South Korea started developing its telecom industry from square one. Meanwhile, its broadband now ranks first in the world, which is a significant accomplishment.

“Broadband connection will serve as the main driving force for Vietnam to create a miracle in the near future. A national broadband system will help Vietnam develop e-commerce, healthcare, education and transport infrastructure,” he said. “It is necessary to develop broadband as soon as possible. We do believe that Vietnam will reach its goal of being a powerhouse in IT and telecommunications”.

A representative from a satellite company agreed, saying that it would be a reasonable move to set up a nationwide broadband network.

“Vietnam has Vinasat 1 satellite and it is going to have Vinasat 2 by 2012, which will allow the country to cover broadband waves to every corner of the country without any worry about geographical distances.”

Representative from Amdocs also thinks that developing broadband will be a wise move. However, Vietnam needs to create a “fair playing field” for many service providers. As there are many service providers, the competition among the service providers will be stiffer, and customers will have opportunities to use high quality services at competitive fees. Especially, service providers will not only try to develop services in urban areas, but in rural areas as well.

Speaking at a conference on consulting with foreign partners about the implementation of the strategy to turn Vietnam into an IT power, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, Head of the National Steering Committee on IT Development said that in the last 10 years, the government has always prioritized the IT industry and considered it a key industry to develop the country. This explains why in recent years the IT growth rate has always been high at 20 percent per annum.

To date, some Vietnamese enterprises have cemented their firm positions on the domestic market and they are considering reaching out to the world market, including the Vietnam Post and Communication Group VNPT, Viettel, or VTC. An ambitious goal has been set for enterprises to strive to have a turnover of 10 billion dollar by 2015. This can absolutely happen.

Nhan also emphasized that Vietnam has every reason to realize the dream becoming an IT power. However, Nhan admitted that Vietnam still has problems in the quality of the labor force. Especially, IT workers lack soft skills and foreign language skills.