Mar 04, 2020 / 14:15

Vietnam to universalize cheap smartphones to boost e-government

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam will have a universal smartphone program with a view to achieving smartphone penetration of 100%.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications will encourage the production of low-cost smartphones to make them affordable to every citizen and facilitate the deployment of e-government, VietNamNet quoted the ministry’s head Nguyen Manh Hung as saying at a recent meeting.

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For the first time, Vietnam will have a universal smartphone program with a view to achieving smartphone penetration of 100% through selling smartphones for only US$45-50.

Smartphones will be made affordable thanks to a subsidy of US$10 each paid by telecom carriers and US$1 for each application covered by developers. Each phone will have 10 basic apps.

These, together with the manufacturer’s subsidy, will reduce the price of a Vietnamese smartphone to about US$20. The deployment of e-government would be smoother when smartphone penetration reaches 100%, according to Minister Hung.

He also said that 2020 is the first year that the Ministry of Information and Communications takes back the task of building e-government. This is also the first year Vietnam starts a digital government program.

2020 is also the first year Vietnam would have a national evaluation system for e-government, with more accurate data. Cross-border platforms will be forced to obey Vietnamese regulations.

This year will also mark the first time Vietnam will host the ITU Digital World in September. This is the largest telecom event ever, with the participation of about 130-150 countries.