Viettel signs second partner to sell its private 5G tech in India

Viettel signs second partner to sell its private 5G tech in India

Vietnamese technology firm Viettel High Tech announced on Thursday that it has signed its second partner contract to sell its private 5G solution in India – this one with United Telecoms Limited (UTL).

Under the contract, Viettel High Tech will deliver its 5GP (“5G Private”) solution – which incorporates 5G NR RANs, 100G transmission network, and 5GC core network – to UTL within three months.

UTL will market the 5GP solution in India and the more than 60 countries and territories where it currently operates. No financial details were disclosed.

The Viettel-UTL contract was signed during this week's Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2024 and National Security (NATSEC) Asia 2024 event in Kuala Lumpur.

Viettel High Tech said the deal will enable it to tap into new customer segments in India, particularly government clients, as UTL is a major communications supplier for the Indian government.

The deal also enables UTL to target India’s fledgling private 5G market, said UTL Group chairman Dr. Raja Mohan Rao Potluri.

“There is immense demand for 5G private solutions in the Indian market, and we are committed to maintaining our leading position by delivering value to customers with Viettel's comprehensive 5G connectivity solution,” he said in a statement.

The UTL deal follows Viettel High Tech’s agreement in December 2023 to partner with Indian network and engineering services provider QuadGen Wireless Solutions to manufacture and sell its private 5G technology in India.

Private 5G has been touted in the Indian telecoms sector as a potential additional revenue driver for 5G services, though lack of spectrum remains an issue. Under a ruling by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) last year, enterprises who want to deploy private 5G networks cannot get their own spectrum licence – they must either lease the spectrum from a telco or pay the telco to provide private 5G services.

However, telcos don’t yet have the mmWave spectrum needed to offer private 5G. The next spectrum auction is scheduled for June 6, just after India’s general elections. The auction will offer up spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

Earlier this week, the DoT confirmed that Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have all submitted applications to bid for the spectrum.

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