The notion of IoT is not unfamiliar with high-level executives in the local government, enterprises and telcos in Vietnam. Telcos such as Viettel and VNPT have shifted from the traditional services and currently position themselves as an integrated telecoms service provider to drive the development of technology as shared by Pham Trang Kien, Viettel's Director of Digital Services and Huy Hoang Pham, VNPT's Deputy Director of R&D. IoT projects such as smart city initiatives have been explored by city governors in Vietnam such as Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City. However, from the panel discussion, the panelists, which include Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), Viettel, and VNPT, all agree that a majority of the local population still don’t understand IoT and many enterprises still have a very limited understanding. Thus, they shared that there is a need for all stakeholders to collaborate and educate the masses in Vietnam to galvanize the adoption of new technologies.
Le Thanh Nguyen from the incubation center of SHTP also stressed the importance of building an ecosystem for the industry to hasten the pace of development. SHTP has been very active in doing so by organizing startup competitions as well as incubation programs. So far, there have been more than 40 startups under their care with products and services ranging from smart homes to smart agriculture. He further emphasized that the success of building an ecosystem would require the support and expertise of international companies and organizations. Similar sentiments were shared by both Viettel and VNPT too. International solution providers are very important for the development of ICT in Vietnam and telcos are looking for more collaborations with them. VNPT alone has more than 20 partners at the moment and Huy Hoang Pham shared that it is still far from enough.
Lack of support from the government in terms of policy regulations is a major challenge in Vietnam according to Pham Huy Hoang. Government plays a crucial role in driving the development of technology and this was shared by Pak Hendra Sumiarsa, the Division Head IoT & Vertical Apps Solutions of Indosat Ooredoo, during the discussion in the industry panel. Pak Hendra believes that it would be very difficult to drive the adoption of IoT if the government is resistant to change. However, telcos and solution providers must take the initial step and start small nevertheless.
Smart city remains to be the main focus of the conference. Experts from Korea and Ireland shared smart city initiatives and the implementation/progress in their own countries. In Vietnam itself, while smart city projects have been explored for a few years already, the progress is still minimal due to strict government regulations. During one of the discussions, Pham Huy Hoang invited international experts from other countries to have discussions with the Vietnamese government to convince them of the importance of opening up and to share the practices in their own countries. He believes that smart city solutions provides the highest potential sector in Vietnam for IoT applications.
Other sectors in Vietnam with potential include agriculture, as shared by our keynote and industrial panelists. Dinh Duc Hung, the Chief Solutions Architect of Viettel, shared that Vietnam has very vast agricultural space, for both land and aqua agriculture and there have been IoT pilot projects going on in this sector.
You can read up more on the development of technology in Vietnam here. Do drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in the technology development of enterprises in the region.