Vietnam officially ceases analog television

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung yesterday chaired the press conference to announce the completion of the scheme ‘Digitization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting by 2020’. Beginning from December 28, 2020, Vietnam formally stopped providing analog television nationwide.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung delivered his speech in the conference. (Photo: SGGP)
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung delivered his speech in the conference. (Photo: SGGP)

The scheme ‘Digitization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting by 2020’ observes Decision No.2451/QD-TTg signed on December 27, 2011 by the Prime Minister.

At that time, 90 percent of Vietnamese households owned a TV, yet the vast majority of the population had no experience on digital television.

However, until 2020, 16 million families in the country could enjoy cable TV, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) and free satellite TV.

To carry out the scheme, since 2014, Vietnam has requested that all TV on the market must owns the function of Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2). Meanwhile, the Government support around 1.9 million poor households with a suitable set top box from 2015 to 2020.

Therefore, including 20 percent of satellite TV coverage, 100 percent of the Vietnamese population is able to access digital television in 2020.

In the press conference, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung enthusiastically reported that the scheme is successfully completed, fulfilling all 4 major assigned goals.

Firstly, the scheme frees over 100MHz of the 700MHz band, which is the prime band for 5G coverage in the whole country.

Secondly, television coverage is now able to reach even the farthest regions of Vietnam, enabling all citizens of 63 provinces to access this utility.

Thirdly, besides the state-managed company of VTC - Multimedia Corporation, the scheme effectively calls upon the cooperation of social resources for service provision, such as Audio Visual Global (AVG), Southern Digital Television Company Ltd (SDTV), Northern Digital Television Company (DTV).

Lastly, all local television broadcasters are professionally reorganized in order to focus more on regional news and content producing in addition to transmitting national ones.

Minister Hung stated that the full stop of analog television in Vietnam in 2020 has made the country become the fifth in 10 ASEAN nations and 78/193 nations worldwide to complete the TV digitalization process.

The Minister pointed out reasons for the success of this scheme, including a detailed plan which is citizen-oriented, the wise choice of DVB-T2, the effective use of Vietnam Public-utility Telecommunication Service Fund instead of the state budget for the process (around VND 1,145 billion or US$49.5 million), the creativity in communications to attract the support from both the community and related businesses.