Vietnam is listed by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) among the countries with the highest telecommunication growth rate worldwide.
ICT Sector in Vietnam
Vietnam is listed by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) among the countries with the
highest telecommunication growth rate worldwide. Vietnam’s ICT sector grew by 24.9% in year
2010. Vietnam’s ICT market was worth US$16 billion in 2010, making 10% of the country’s
As of December 2010, there are 111,570,201 mobile phone subscribers and 26,784,035 internet
users, accounting for 31.95% of the country’s population. (Source: Ministry of Information and
In terms of the software industry, Vietnam is becoming a new centre for software outsourcing.
Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi ranked No.5 and 10 respectively on Tholons Global Services’ 2009
list of emerging outsourcing cities.
Today, some international giants such as Samsung, Nokia, Intel have set up their manufacturing
sites in Vietnam. Intel invested US$1 billion to build their largest manufacturing site worldwide
in Ho Chi Minh City which came into operation in July 2010.
ICT is seen by the Vietnam Government as a crucial sector for the country’s economy and
therefore, has been given many incentives to promote the sector. Newly passed
Telecommunication Laws opens up the market to all economic sectors.
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry in Vietnam is among the fastest
growing sector in the country. Over the past decade, Vietnam ICT industry has recorded an
average growth rate of 20-25%. ICT revenue amounted to UD$14.7
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Industry is currently among the fastest
growing sector in Vietnam. Over the past 5 years, Vietnam has sustained an average network
growth of over 20%, which is the highest in the region. The International Telecommunications
Union (ITU) recently announced the ranking list of the global ICT index during the period of
2002-2007 in which Vietnam ranked among top ten countries with the quickest ICT growth.
In June 2006 the National Assembly passed the first law to create a comprehensive legal
framework for the development of Information Technology. On 20 April 2009, the draft
Telecommunication Law was presented to the National Assembly Steering Committee for
discussion. The Telecommunication Law is considered as a must to promote the development of
telecom-IT industry when Vietnam joined the WTO. Vietnam’s equitisation process has also led
to ICT companies being partly privatised and floated on the stock market. The sector is in a
period of change that will facilitate a differentiation in investment financing and possibilities as
well as partnerships between Vietnamese and foreign companies.
The last two years saw significant development in Vietnam’s ICT sector, with impressive
development of both mobile networks and broadband internet. The sector development continues
coupled with a gradual but steady price cuts. The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and
Communications (MIC) telecom subscriber figures show that Vietnam had a total of 14.4 million
fixed line subscribers and 111,570,201 mobile subscribers as of December 2010. (The country
has a population of 87 million). The Vietnam’s telecommunications sector grew by 38% in the
year 2008 despite the world economic downturn. Looking ahead, a professional market
researcher predicts that Vietnam will surpass the 100% penetration threshold in 2011 and will
end 2012 with close to 111mn subscribers.
On 13 August 2009, four licenses for third-generation (3G) services were officially awarded to
Viettel, Mobifone, Vinaphone and the joint venture of EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom. By the
end of 2010, these mobile operators have introduced 3G services to the market. In their plan, The
introduction of 3G in Vietnam is a step forward but does not aim to rule out the presence of 2G.
The Internet was officially introduced to Vietnam in late 1997. The sector has developed rapidly
in the last 2 years partly because of the availability of affordable broadband/ADSL packages for
households (the monthly subscription average rate is as low as US$3). As of December 2010, the
country has 26,784,035 internet users and the total number of broad bandwidth subscribers is
over 3.6 million. The total capacity of the international link is as much as 134 Gbps. 191,667 Dot
vn domain names have been issued. (Source: Vietnam Internet Centre VNNIC)
According to the government, turnover in the software and digital content industry reached US$2
billion in 2010, up 40% in the last 10 years. During this period, the software industry workforce
has increased by 20 times during this period.
In general, the monopoly of state corporations in the ICT sector is gradually giving way to
competition. Entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in January 2007 provided the
industry with more private competition, which has led to an increase in the number of actors in
the market, and made telecommunications and technology services cheaper and more accessible.
Despite the world economic turmoil, the telecommunication sector still recorded great
achievements. Meanwhile, the software industry seems to be hit hard. However, this is also a
chance for software firms to look into new areas like R&D or to spend time on developing new
ξ The National Strategy on Transforming Vietnam into an advanced ICT country by 2020.
In terms of ICT human resources, the strategy aims to increase the total number of people
working in ICT industry to one million. In terms of infrastructure, the strategy looks at
expanding broadband coverage to the most remote villages and mobile broadband coverage to
95% of the population as well as ensuring 70% of the population to have internet access. In terms
of ICT industry development, the strategy targets at forming advanced ICT R&D institutions and
bringing Vietnam to the top 10 list of countries providing outsourcing services and digital
content services. In view of this national strategy, international co-operation in this field is
promoted and there will be more projects on improving ICT infrastructure and usage in the
Digital Content Industry
The Vietnam’s digital content industry grew by 60-70% in the last decade. This sub-sector was
worth US$690 million in 2010. Although digital content is a new industry in Vietnam, it is
expected to be on the list of key industries by end of 2015 with a revenue of US$2 billion. The
introduction of 3G in the past 2 years has laid a solid ground for the growth of digital content
services, especially mobile content services.
Data Centre Services
Although data centre has only been introduced to the market in the last couple of years, many
major ICT companies have invested in datacentre to meet the increasing demand of the local
market. The capital expenditure for commercial datacetre in Vietnam is expected to reach
US$244 million by end of 2011. Companies such as FPT, Viettel, CMC, etc. have actively
played their parts in this promising sub-sector. Furthermore, there is a chance for Vietnam to
become another major destination for data centre services now that the leading data centres in
Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. struggle to meet the increasing demand. Therefore,
giant data centre service providers such as KDDI, NTT Telecommunications, etc. have
approached local data centre service providers for business co-operation.
Vietnam has been approaching cloud computing services through some projects from Micrsoft,
Intel, etc. This was marked by the signing of an MOU in May 2010 between FPT and Microsoft
Asia Pacific for bilateral cooperation to promote cloud computing development in Vietnam. In
another development, VNG was sponsored VND 8.5 billion by the US Trade and Development
Agency for the implementation of cloud computing at the former’s Vinadata centre. Results of a
recent survey by Symantec, cloud computing is more and more popular in Vietnam and 46% of
local enterprises and organisations are implementing hybrid cloud.
With 31.95% of the country’s population using the internet and significant improvements in the
banking system in the last few years, Vietnam is considered a potential market for e-commerce.
According to the Vietnam 2009 e-commerce report by the Ministry of Industries, e-commerce in
Vietnam has proved itself to be a useful tool for enhancing business competitiveness. Of over
2,000 businesses taking part in the survey, 12% of them use e-commerce trading floors. 76% of
those who have not used e-commerce trading floors are committed to doing so in the near future.
Local e-commerce trading floors are also positive about the prospect of the e-commerce in
Vietnam. The total value of Vietnam’s e-commerce was only US$100 million but is expected to
grow to US$ 2 billion by end of 2015.
ICT applications for Healthcare sector
In terms of ICT adoption in the healthcare sector, Vietnam is still at the very low level compared
to the averaged world-wide level. However, with the population of 87 million, more than 70% of
which lives in the rural areas, Vietnam is committed to intensifying ICT adoption in the
healthcare sector. Therefore, Vietnam, in experts’ views, is a potential market for ICT
applications used for the healthcare sector. The introduction of 3G is, again, a step forward in
preparing the infrastructure. This potential market is considered a playing field for foreign
players and the local companies act as partners/ distributors. Companies such as Cisco, IBM or
Ericsson have been very active in watching for new developments in this market.
Latest export opportunities – ICT
Latest export opportunities – Vietnam
Getting into the market
Good local partner
It is important that UK companies can find a good local partner to make use of their local
knowledge, especially on local business practice as well as their network of contacts.
Vietnam is not a quick-win market, therefore, UK companies should be patient and make long-
term commitment in order to explore and succeed in this market.
More about doing business in Vietnam
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Le Mai Hoang Giao, British Consulate General, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: +84 (8) 3825
1380 or email: email@example.com
ξ Nguyen Duc Vinh, British Embassy Hanoi. Tel: +84 (4) 3936 0500 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – ICT
Vietnam Consumer Digital World Expo
Time: 14-17 July 2012
Vietnam International Communications Summit & Expo
Time: 14-17 November 2012
Banking Vietnam Conference & Exhibition
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters