The Hanoitimes - Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, talks to Hanoitimes on Hanoi’s readiness to turn itself into a smart city and the role of ICT in this process.
What role does information technology (IT) play in the building of smart city?
First, I wish to congratulate and commend the Government of Vietnam for the Smart City Development Plan, which aims to drive Smart City developments across Vietnam by addressing and creating a prosperous and harmonious interaction between the economy, environment and society through the intelligent use of digital technology.
ICT (Information Communication Technology) plays a fundamental role in the building of the Smart City. More specifically, 4G and 5G IoT (Internet of Things) network infrastructure lays the foundation upon which all ‘data traffic’ travels across a smart city, connecting people, machines and industries. 4G & 5G IoT networks are very much like the roads, tunnels, bridges and highways in physical cities, carrying important digital information that helps drive a transformative digital or internet economy and industries.
Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Photo: baodautu.vn
The future of ICT is to effectively digitally transform or ‘digitalize’ all other industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing/production, agriculture, banking/finance and energy, to name a few, helping make them more efficient, cost effective and accessible to more people. In this way, ICT helps create an ‘inclusive GDP Growth’ by combining data, connectivity and innovation, and providing mobile broadband internet services to all people, whether they reside in urban cities or rural and mountainous countryside areas.
ICT ensures that smart cities are sustainable cities, innovative, secure cities and safe cities, and that no one is left behind. In fact, ICT helps ensure we create a Smart Nation, not just a Smart City.
How ready is Hanoi’s IT infrastructure for the city’s plan to become a smart city? What should the city focus on in the implementation of its smart city plan?
Thanks to ICT companies like Ericsson, Hanoi has a very well developed ICT infrastructure in terms of 4G infrastructure. With the introduction of 4G NB IoT by many of the mobile operators in Vietnam in 2019, followed by 5G in 2020 onwards, Hanoi is well positioned to become a Smart City, leveraging the 4G IoT capabilities, coupled with the establishment of the National Innovation Center and Start Up initiatives and improvements in Education and Life Long Vocational Training centered around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with a strong focus on Data Science.
Institutional, administrative and legal framework reforms are also needed to help facilitate Smart City developments, and the government has a very strong focus and vision in this important area.
What could Ericsson help Hanoi in realizing the city’s smart-city plan?
Ericsson recognizes that data is the new oil that fuels the Internet engine that drives socio-economic development. We are focused on strategically partnering with mobile operators in Vietnam to continue building the 4G networks as well as planning for 5G rollouts in 2020 onwards (5G trials in 2019).
We’re also focused on driving innovation through our recently announced ‘IoT Innovation Hub’ partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the ‘Women in ICT’ Internship program that has been forged between Ericsson Vietnam and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.
Through my role as the Co-Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce, I’m also supporting the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) signing, ratification and implementation in 2019, which will also contribute to accelerated investments in high tech industries in Vietnam, enabling a greater level of technology transfer and innovation capacity in Vietnam, which will further add to the fast track development of Hanoi’s smart city initiative.
Thank you very much!