The problem has been explained by Internet experts that content services being provided in Vietnam are mostly basic services, while there has been no service that needs large bandwidth.
No progress made after one year
The Q2 2010 report on the global Internet speed by Akamai, a network specializing in providing Internet content in the US, showed that the Internet speed in Vietnam was 1.7 Mbps, lower than the 1.8 Mbps level in the world. With the result, Vietnam ranked the 32nd among the 50 surveyed countries in terms of Internet speed.
In South East Asia, Vietnam ranked behind Thailand (2.9 Mbps), Singapore (3.1 Mbps), and above Malaysia (1.19 Mbps), the Philippines (0.9 Mbps), and Indonesia (0.63 Mbps). In Vietnam, 70 percent of Internet connections have the speed of 256 Kbps - 2 Mbps, while only two percent reportedly had the connection speed above 5 Mbps.
Akamai’s Internet speed report in Q4 2011 showed that Vietnam had the average speed of 1.664 Mbps, lower than the average level of 2.3 Mbps in the world. Thirteen percent of Internet connections had the speed lower than 256 Kbps, 2 percent had the speed higher than 5 Mbps. In the 11-country ASEAN bloc, Vietnam ranked behind Thailand (3.054 Mbps), Malaysia (1.8 Mbps) and Singapore (4.6 Mbps).
As such, Vietnam’s Internet speed has not seen any improvement after one year, staying at 1.7 Mbps.
Meanwhile, according to NetIndex, the download speed of Vietnam’s Internet is at 8.04 Mbps, ranking the 54th among 180 countries in the world, and the upload speed is 5.57 Mbps, ranking the 28th.
The report has pointed out that Ben Tre is the province which has the fastest download speed, at 17.38 Mbps, followed by Buon Ma Thuot 14.91 Mbsp and Vinh City 12.82 Mbps.
If comparing with October 2011, the download speed in Vietnam on Speedtest has also decreased from 9.79 Mbps to 8.04 Mbps.
Meanwhile, in 2011, Vietnamese Internet service providers continuously increased the bandwidth or slash fees to satisfy the customers’ demand.
In early March 2011, FPT Telecom announced it raised the access speed to 8 Mbps at maximum, and exempted the iTV service fee. In early May 2011, VDC, a subsidiary of the giant Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group raised the bandwidth of MegaVNN service packages, while the package fee remained unchanged.
Developing content to stimulate Internet speed
An executive of VDC said that the unchanged Internet speed in Vietnam shows that the speed has reached the threshold which can satisfy users’ demand. Therefore, after a period of focusing on developing infrastructure items, it’s now the time to pay attention to the development of the content services, in order to increase the demand for large bandwidth.
Experts said that all basic services, which have been in high demand, such as reading news, searching information or listening to music, now absolutely can be satisfied by ADSL packages. Therefore, in order to raise Vietnam’s Internet speed, enterprises should think of developing content on large bandwidth infrastructure.
“We have had large roads (large bandwidth), and now we need to have vehicles (services) to run on the large roads,” an expert said.
Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Internet Association Nguyen Long has also admitted that there are few content products on Internet, except amusement services and games. Other content services have not developed due to the problems relating to the intellectual property rights.