The image of a person in a developed nation using the Internet via a wireless broadband network is common, but not in Viet Nam’s countryside. However, this may soon change in the mountainous Lao Cai Province where the nation’s first trial WiMAX broadband network was launched on Friday.
The US Embassy, Intel, Vietnam Data Communications Co. (VDC), and the Lao Cai People’s Committee officially activated the network at the provincial Post Office.
The remote province along the Viet Nam-China border also saw US Deputy Mission Chief, Jonathan Aloisi, officials from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), participating in the network launching ceremony.
WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system that is intended for metropolitan area networks.
A WiMAX trial project was initiated in Ha Noi this June with a deal between the three partners – USAID, Intel and VDC – to benefit the lives and economic opportunities in rural and remote communities in Viet Nam. A base station and 20 WiMAX modems have been installed to enable the network.
The network’s technology, supplied by Intel and operated by VDC, offers a broad variety of economic, educational, health, community and social applications in Lao Cai Province.
The various end-users involved in the pilot project include schools, health care centers, the Post Office, an Internet cafe, a family farm, a hotel, an investment project, and selected public and community service locations, according to the provincial authority.
The next stage of the project is scheduled to begin in early 2007 and will utilize a satellite to provide advanced wireless broadband services to the province’s remote regions where no telecom infrastructure or telephone lines currently exist.