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Vietnam amongst the Internet development leaders in Southeast Asia

Fifteen years after its introduction, Vietnam becomes now the third leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Internet development and investment, only after Singapore and Malaysia.


The fast-paced growth of the user number in no less than four years means a new record in this economically important area, the increase has been from 20 to 30 million Internet surfers according to the Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC). It is estimated that the average Vietnamese spends 18 dollars every month to access the Net, being these one of the cheapest in the entire world.

Nearly all the new technologies have been implemented in Vietnam: 3G (offered by three different companies), smartphones, satellite, optical fiber cables at a reasonable cost... Nowadays 30% of the country's population is able to enjoy the Internet any place any time, as said by the VNNIC. The average internet users in Vietnam are males between the ages of 15 and 24. The companies that lead the market are: Mobiphone as a service provider and the South Korean Samsung as for selling devices.

And it is precisely in the field of mobile technology where we find that there are approximately 140 milion phones for a 90 milion population. Which means that smartphone imports have increased in a 70% and that, according to the Ministry of Industry, the country has spent more than 4.47 billion dollars on those.

Le Nam Thung, the Vietnamese Information and Communications Minister, justifies the great investment to connect the country in the following way: "In 2011, during my work visits to American and European countries, i discovered that these new structures were not fully implemented in Vietnam".

Nevertheless, Le Nam Thang sustains that he is also concerned about security issues on the new net. Last September, Vietnamese authorities arrested 17 bloggers under the new Internet services use Decree, where the "opposition to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam" is sanctioned. These incidents have lead Human Rights Watch to send a letter to Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung demanding the freedom of the prisoners.

In a context where the Vietnamese economy has slowed down its growth rate 5.0 percent, the institutions sustain that to solve the situation technology and Internet are key issues.

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