Since its existing one has been almost fully taken resulting in lower speeds, Vietnam will auction a new high frequency 4G spectrum. The Ministry of Information and Communications is preparing to auction the 2.6GHz band which will have higher data-carrying capacity but shorter reach than the current 1.8GHz.
According to the ministry, the bandwidth available in the 1.8GHz band is lower than actual demand which is resulting in lower 4G speeds. A new band would allow for better speeds for telecom firms and national security needs.
The auction will be open to existing network operators and new ones. Winning bidders need to start operating within two years or lose their license. Existing operators need to have at least 5,000 base transceiver stations in the new spectrum within that timeframe, while a new operator would have to establish at least 4,250.
The current 1.8GHz band is being used by the three largest telecom operators which are Viettel, VinaPhone and MobiFone. Vietnamobile uses the 2.1GHz band and has along with Viettel called for the auction of the 2.6GHz band in question. According to a report by the internet performance database M-Lab released last year, Vietnam's internet speed ranks 75th in the world, lower than Malaysia and Thailand.