Viettel claims success in 4G technology tests

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Telecom giant Viettel announced Thursday that it has successfully tested its high-speed fourth generation mobile services, becoming the first wireless network in Vietnam to apply the technology.

The military-run company on the same day launched a customer testing phase for the 4G network in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The testing, which runs through August 31, will be available to 240 mobile subscribers.

Viettel said the trial will allow the network to assess its capabilities before officially launching 4G services. No timeframe for a market-wide service launch was disclosed.

Five local telecom companies were allowed by the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications to test the 4G wireless standard in September 2010.

The companies, including state-owned VNPT, were given one year to test the technology before they can apply for the license to provide the service.

4G is the latest generation wireless technology that allows ultra-broadband Internet access and multimedia services.

The technology is still in its early stages and new to most of the world. According to the Vietnam News Agency, there are only 17 4G network operators in the world now.

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