|A woman uses smartphone to pay the bill in a supermarket in Hanoi, 2019. Photo by Shutterstock/SunnyVMD.
"5G is significant infrastructure for the digital economy and digital society, and mastering 5G equipment is of strategic significance for the country," the ministry said in plans posted on its website for the information-communications industry this year.
Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world that can produce 5G devices.
In June Vingroup JSC, Vietnam’s largest listed firm by market value, signed partnerships with Japan's Fujitsu and the US's Qualcomm to make 5G smartphones in the country.
Telecom giant Viettel broadcast its first 5G signals from its network of 5G base transceiver stations (BTSs) in Ho Chi Minh City in September last year.
The 10 stations will be used by Viettel to assess its 5G capability before launching it commercially this year.
The military-owned company installed its first 5G BTS in Hanoi in early 2019 and made the first 5G phone call in May that year. It was the first firm in the country to receive permission to trial 5G services, followed by MobiFone.
5G is said to offer speeds 100 times faster than 4G and support new applications like remote medical procedures and autonomous driving.
The number of 5G subscriptions in Vietnam could hit 6.3 million by 2025 or 6 percent of total mobile subscriptions, technology conglomerate Cisco has forecast.