This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/12/2018

Overview

Vietnam’s ICT market is expected to continue its growth between 2018 and 2020, due to the government’s desire to turn Vietnam into an ICT power. In 2015 and 2016, the government issued fourteen important documents including six governmental degrees and eight Prime Minister decisions instructing Ministries and provincial governments to promote the application and development of IT to meet the objectives of sustainable economic growth and successful international integration. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report shows that demand in the ICT sector in 2017 was estimated to reach $12.7 billion and forecasted to grow to $13.4 billion in 2018. To meet this market growth, Vietnam imports the bulk of IT hardware and software, as Vietnamese manufacturers are still relatively new and may not be able to offer the same range of solutions and services as foreign suppliers. This trend is expected to continue and offers good opportunities for U.S. suppliers.

Also per the EIU, spending on IT was estimated at $6.4 billion in 2017, and forecasted to grow to $6.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 2.5 percent, a lower rate compared to 8.1 percent growth in 2017 and 2016. In 2017, spending on IT hardware continued to represent the largest share (88.8 percent) of total spending, with software and services representing 4.6 percent and 6.6 percent of the market. Key players in the hardware market include suppliers from Taiwan, China, the U.S., and Japan. Major players in the software market include suppliers from the U.S., Germany, China, Russia, and Vietnam. The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report in 2016 ranked Vietnam at 79 of 139 in Networked Readiness Index (NFI), an increase of 6 grades in comparison with 2015. In addition, as Vietnam has become a member of ASEAN’s Economic Community, enterprises are expected to increase spending to upgrade their IT infrastructure to improve their operational efficiency and business competitiveness.

Telecommunications

Total telecom service revenue in 2017 was expected to reach $6.9 billion. Mobile data services own the major share (36.8 percent) of the sector. Viettel, Mobifone, and VNPT-Vinaphone (all State-Owned entities or SOE’s) continue to dominate Vietnam’s telecom market, with over 90 percent of the market share. Viettel is the largest player and is forecast to be the market leader through 2020. As of October 2016, these three major operators had been granted 4G/LTE licenses, and 4G service began in Vietnam in 2017.

Mobile Phone Networks

At present, there are five mobile operators in Vietnam; VNPT-Vinaphone, Mobiphone, Viettel, Vietnammobile, and Gtel. According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications, there were 128 million mobile phones subscribers, of which, 63 million were Viettel, 34.6 million Mobiphone, 20.5 million VNPT-Vinaphone, 5.9 million Gtel, and 3.6 million Vietnammobile.

Telephone Main Lines

According to EIU, there were over 14 million land telephone lines in Vietnam in 2017, an increase of 6.3 percent y-o-y.

Internet

As of 2017, the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers was 11.5 million, while the number of mobile broadband internet users via 3G network is nearly 47.2 million. Per Business Monitor International, the internet market in Vietnam is forecasted to grow at an annual pace of 9 percent for the next few years due to the strong growth of applications, e-commerce, and internet TV.


Leading Sub-Sectors

Smart Cities

From 2010 to 2015, urbanization in Vietnam grew at 3.4 percent per year, and currently one in three Vietnamese people live in urban areas. The United Nations projects that half of the Vietnamese will live in cities by 2040, placing an increasing burden on municipalities. Ho Chi Minh City is already outpacing population growth predictions with 12 million residents in 2017 and an urban density comparable to Tokyo. Hanoi is also rapidly growing with over 8 million residents. Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and many smaller Vietnamese cities are already experiencing the challenges associated with rapid urbanization, including delivering basic city services, constructing public transportation systems, delivering safe potable water, improving waste management, and ensuring food safety. Vietnamese governments at both central and city levels have established their strong support of smart city development in Vietnam to help improve services to the growing urban areas while reducing or maintaining costs.

The governments in each city are exploring intelligent traffic solutions to manage traffic flows and reduce the growing air pollution problem. Both cities will need to invest in urban planning to better utilize their road resources as people transition from motorbikes to cars. Ho Chi Minh City has the added challenge of urban flooding during the rainy season. Many cities are proposing developing e-government solutions to better manage city services and increase transparency. Danang recently completed the first stage in its city-wide IT infrastructure project that built new data warehouses and installed Wi-fi access points across the city of 1.5 million residents.

The growing Internet and mobile phone penetration is helping to drive smart city development and e-government solution deployment. It is estimated that 52 percent of the population uses the internet. The country has 128 million mobile phone subscribers. Significant financing support provided by international donors, like the World Bank, is behind some of the growth in this area. As the Vietnamese government continues to encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in urban infrastructure projects, more funding will become available for the development of smart cities in the larger cities.

Due to their state-of-the-art technology, lifecycle cost efficiency, and customer support services, U.S. suppliers have significant opportunities to sell their products to several market segments in Vietnam. The segments of vertical industry markets, including education, electricity, healthcare, transport, and water/wastewater, all present good opportunities. These sub-sectors will offer potential for U.S. suppliers of servers, network equipment, cybersecurity equipment and software, and application software including Customer Relations Management (CRM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

e-Commerce

Vietnam is estimated to have over 50 million internet users in 2018, 91% of the population possess smart phones, and an average Internet access of 25 hours/week, makes this a potentially ideal market for e-Commerce. In fact, the market has raised the interest of many e-Commerce tycoons in the world. Alibaba has invested over $2 billion into Lazada, a popular e-Commerce site in Vietnam, owning over 83% of the firm.

Mobile Phones
Coupled with growing e-commerce and over-the-top applications, the rising income of the tech-savvy population in Vietnam is expected to drive the market for mobile phones at an estimated 12-13 percent from 2015 to 2018. The major suppliers of mobile phones in Vietnam include Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Asus, Sony, HTC and Oppo.

Cyber Security Equipment and Software

After Vietnam Airlines’ computer system was hacked and the personal information of some 400,000 of its customers was published online in July 2016, and the international ransomware attack in May 2017, the Vietnamese government and its enterprises have increasingly paid attention to cyber security. U.S. suppliers of cyber security equipment and software are expected to see market opportunities as virtually all mobile operators and internet service providers in Vietnam are increasingly making investments to protect and keep their customers. All mobile phones users are required to register with the government through one of the state-owned companies.

Opportunities

The U.S. Commercial Service along with well-known U.S. information and communication technology (ICT) companies, have organized several smart city conferences in Vietnam. These companies are introducing smart city technologies and solutions to Vietnamese authorities and municipalities while at the same time educating them on the benefits of applying smart technology to planning and managing infrastructure and providing better public services.
U.S. suppliers will continue to find significant business opportunities between 2017 and 2020 as the government and businesses are modernizing their IT infrastructure. The following large-scale projects will present high-value opportunities for U.S. suppliers.
  • Da Nang City’s Sustainable City Development Project, $272.2 million
  • Digitization of Vietnam’s Broadcast Industry, $200 million, 2015-2020
  • Five Prime Minister-approved hospital projects: Bach Mai (Ha Nam province), Viet Duc (Ha Nam Province), Oncology 2 (HCMC), Pediatrics (HCMC), and Military Hospital 175’s Trauma and Orthopedics Center (HCMC)
  • HCMC’s Flood Risk Management Project, $435 million, 2016-2020
  • HCMC’s Green Transport Development Project, $124 million, 2015-2019
  • Saigon Water Corporation’s ICT Upgrade Project, $27 million (phase 1) and $50 million (phase 2)
  • Secondary Cities Development Program (Green Cities), $176 million
  • Strengthening Sustainable Urban Transport for Hanoi Metro Line 3, $53 million Da Nang City’s E-Government Phase 2 Project, $60 million
  • Urban Environment and Climate Change Adaptation Project, $140 million
  • Water Sector Investment Program PFR4, $235 million
Singapore recently took the initiative to establish the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), which is envisioned as a collaborative platform where cities from each ASEAN nation work towards the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development. For Vietnam, the three participating cities are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang. The collaborative platform aims to facilitate cooperation on smart cities development, catalyze bankable projects with the private sector, and secure support from ASEAN’s external partners.

Web Resources

Vietnam Internet Network Information Center
Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communication

Further information can be obtained from the U.S. Commercial Service in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City via the following addresses:
Nguyen Nhung, Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service – U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
E-mail: nguyen.nhung@trade.gov
Huynh Triet, Senior Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City
E-mail: Triet.Huynh@trade.gov

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Vietnam Information and Communication Technology Trade Development and Promotion