Efficient telecommunications are a top priority for successfully organising an important event like the APEC Summit, which is now on in Đà Nẵng. Tào Đức Thắng, deputy general director of the country’s leading telecom service provider, Viettel Group, which is providing the telecom services and is in charge of cyber security, speaks to the Việt Nam News about his company’s preparations.
How did Việt Nam prepare for telecommunications at the APEC Summit?
APEC is a very important event for Việt Nam. Viettel is the leading telecom service provider in Việt Nam and we know that good preparations for telecommunications at APEC will not just serve the event well but will also portray a good image of Việt Nam to international friends.
Viettel has experience [after] serving two APEC summits, one in Việt Nam in 2006 and the other in Peru in 2016. We learnt a lot from what Peru did to prepare for APEC.
We planned everything very early and started preparations in May. We reviewed our plans for coverage and improving our quality for 2G, 3G and 4G services not only in Đà Nẵng, where the APEC Summit was to be held, but also in Hội An.
Viettel considered this a chance to upgrade all its services, not just focused on APEC, so that international guests can know clearly about the quality of Vietnamese telecom services.
Besides improving the quality of its telecom services, Viettel also paid attention to the scenery by burying over 100km of fibre-optic cables, setting up green base transceiver stations (tree-shaped, using renewable energy like wind and solar, less noise.)
For sure, information security and how to stop cyber attacks received the highest priority. We have human resources 24 hours a day to ensure cyber attacks are warded off.
At the Intercontinental Hotel, we have installed two fibre-optic cables and a microwave network.
For international events, fast and precise communications are very important. Viettel has laid high-speed fibre-optic cable and installed 100 telephones, 120 laptops and 100 TV screens at the media centre so that that images and news from APEC Việt Nam would go out of the country at the fastest speed and with the highest quality.
The president, a deputy prime minister and the information and telecommunication minister themselves checked the telecom preparations.
How have Vietnamese telecom services improved since the previous APEC summit?
APEC organisers are very careful about every aspect of the event, not just telecommunications. Monitoring of preparations by central and local leaders, awareness of local residents, the Đà Nẵng landscape are all meant to provide a warm welcome to international guests.
For the 2016 APEC summit in Peru, the Peruvian government did not have any special instructions for telecommunications. Viettel’s Bitel in Peru was one of companies that provided telecom services.
This year Viettel has constantly received instructions from authorities.
Việt Nam will do everything it can for international guests at APEC and we have done our best.
Việt Nam has been able to provide efficient telecom coverage for the APEC summit because it has a developed telecom system. Would you true?
The difference in telecommunications between developed and developing nations is now not so clear. For example, the US is a very developed nation but 4G services in the US are slow and of low quality. The most important thing here is what impression Việt Nam wants to convey at the APEC summit.
Here I can say the 2017 Vietnamese APEC organising committee would like to create a good impression about all aspects of life on international guests. The organising committee has strictly instructed telecommunication providers to ensure quality, speed and coverage.
How is Viettel supporting the international media?
As I said above, at the media centre, foreign and local reporters can use high-speed, secure wifi, laptops, telephones. Some agencies have leased our lines and Viettel has subsidised them. In addition, 3,000 high-speed 4G SIM cards have been delivered free of cost to foreign reporters, allowing them to work efficiently outside the APEC location.