Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup said on Thursday it aimed to sell its VSmart-branded 5G devices to North American markets next year.
The Hanoi-based company, the first in Vietnam to produce 5G smartphones, said it will export about 1.5-2 million devices to the US under outsourcing contracts starting this year, before exporting its own brand’s 5G equipments to this market in 2021.
VinSmart, the technology arm of the $14 billion Vietnamese diversified company Vingroup, will focus on 5G product exports to North America within the next five years, according to its vice chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy.
“Once the 5G network reaches a wide coverage in Vietnam, we would already have the capacity to well serve the local market,” she said.
“5G is an opportunity for a new player like VinSmart to be on par with the world’s manufacturers,” Thuy added.
Thuy revealed that Vingroup has invested tens of million US dollars in developing R&D labs, building the production line and hiring talents for VinSmart, as well as acquiring licence to use Qualcomm’s technology.
The Vietnamese firm partnered with Qualcomm to launch its first 5G-enabled smartphones, the VSmart Aris series in July 2020.
“We had certain challenges as a new brand in the market, in addition to the difficulty in developing new partnerships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the support from our strategic partner, Qualcomm, will help us overcome,” Thuy said.
“One of Qualcomm’s most important goals is to help bringing ‘Make in Vietnam’ products to the world. We are also working with VinSmart to expand [this 5G technology] beyond the mobile industry to areas such as distance learning, healthcare and smart manufacturing,” added Nam Thieu, country director for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia at Qualcomm.
In Vietnam, military-owned telecom operator Viettel was the first to complete a 5G trial in 2019. The telco, along with two other majors, VNPT Vinaphone and Mobiphone, expect to commercialise the latest mobile network technology in 2021.