The Top Pitfalls and Prospects Of 5G Development in Vietnam

February 24th, 2023
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Fintech / Technology

Globally, fifth generation wireless technology (“5G”) is positioned as a primary driver of future prosperity and security. 5G provides exponential improvements across multiple technical metrics, including connectivity, speed, and latency. 5G technology provides incredibly fast network connections, enabling consumers, enterprises, small medium enterprises, and governments to harness the power of the internet more effectively than ever before.

This dramatic increase in speed and connectivity is a boon to innovation, enabling the development of new products and services, spurring economic growth and activity.

Along with innovation and new developments, 5G will enhance and enable critical services and management of important resources. Precision agriculture, construction and mining, digitized education, connected healthcare, smart manufacturing, intelligent retail, and connected smart cities are areas where development will be catalyzed and enabled by 5G coverage.

Security of data on 5G communications infrastructure – that is, data and information that is transmitted and stored on it – is a key security interest of national significance. The security of 5G networks, as it relates to equipment or software, including any part of the network, is critical. Thus, great care is placed on avoiding the implementation of products developed, manufactured, or supplied by companies under the control or influence of a foreign government whose national security interests are perhaps not aligned with those of Vietnam.

Opportunities. By virtue of its high capacity and ultra-low latency, 5G will enable meaningful adoption of AI enabled technologies and IoT applications across a range of sectors. As enterprises employ 5G to process and analyze increasingly greater volume of data, and as businesses become better equipped to monetize these huge volumes of data, revenues and valuations are expected to increase.

Digital transformation is viewed as a key factor to boosting the economy and fostering sustainable development. 5G enables initiatives aimed at improving smart water use, innovative energy inventory and management for large buildings, smart traffic management technology, and remote sensors that compile air quality data.

For example, reducing vehicle emissions with the use of intelligent traffic signal control systems has been shown to lead to up to 20% lower emissions. Radar and cameras are used to respond to traffic conditions as they change in real time. The result is that vehicles spend significantly less time stopping or idling at intersections, leading to significant reductions in emissions.

Smart communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure could allow prioritization for high-occupancy vehicles, before vehicles approach intersections, maximizing travel efficiency.

Smart water monitoring for agricultural applications —tracking rainfall, plants’ water requirements, sun exposure, and weather predictions – rely on precise measurements enabled by 5G powered devices. While this technology already exists, 5G promises to make it more efficient and accessible.

Private 5G networks have the potential to revolutionize container ports, warehousing and logistics, airports, hospitals, hospitality, manufacturing, farming and more.

In the healthcare context, for example, Doctors and patients will be more connected than ever. For example, an internal defibrillator could automatically alert emergency room cardiologists of a patient experiencing symptoms, allowing physicians to prepare for the incoming patient– complete with a full record of data collected by the device, in real time.

Data will fuel the growth of most sectors, and agriculture is no exception. Farms will continue to consume more data, resulting in the need for fewer chemicals. Sensors installed directly in fields, allow farmers to identify, with incredible precision, which areas require additional water, pest management, or show signs of an invasive disease.

As economies of scale and manufacturing efficiencies make wearable technology more affordable, 5G enables networks with large numbers of IoT devices. For example, farmers can use health monitoring devices for livestock, gaining much more accurate and timely health data. This allows for significant reductions in the use of antibiotics, without risking the safety of food supply chains.

Sustainable development. A traditionally agricultural-based economy, Vietnam has experienced rapid digital transformation driven by the government’s push toward “improvements to the digital identity, digital citizenship, and digital lifestyle components.”

Logistics. In logistics and shipping, 5G allows greater communication between vehicles of a fleet. Vehicles can also communicate with infrastructure along the route. Navigation and monitoring of vehicles will improve with 5G, resulting in better route planning, shorter delivery times, and lower instances of driver error and accidents. Augmented reality systems used to identify potential hazards, without diverting a driver’s attention away from the road, could be employed and powered by 5G.

Manufacturing. The convergence of AI, and IoT, powered by 5G, will result in major transformations to factory floors. Predictive maintenance will help minimize downtime and reduce costs. Factories will also utilize 5G to analyze and control industrial processes with an exceptional degree of precision, not possible prior to 5G. Traditional quality control processes, will be streamlined via sensor technology and AI – all made possible thanks to vast improvements in connectivity offered by 5G.

Challenges and policy recommendations. As technology advances, legal developments often lag. Recent and impending changes to Vietnam’s data protection law have the potential to restrict the free flow of data. The implications on data intensive technologies powered by 5G are yet to be seen. A clear legal framework is needed to bolster investor confidence and drive innovation.

This article appeared in the Vietnam Investment Review on 14 September 2022.


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