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Universalization of smart phones and 5G: Need a 'push' from state management policy

AuthorTrần Thanh Phương

Since the second half of 2023, new 5G phones launched in Vietnam have decreased significantly in terms of models, brands, and distributors. So what are the causes and solutions?

The Vietnam 5G smart phone market has been very vibrant in 2022 and the first half of 2023 with many main-stream and low-cost options. Since the second half of 2023, new 5G phones launched in Vietnam have decreased significantly in terms of the number of models, brands, and distributors. So what are the causes and solutions?



What is the cause?

As a business that has worked for a long time in the market access consulting industry, we have received a lot of information showing that the cost of testing and certification of conformity for the Vietnamese market is one of the reasons why phone manufacturers have reduced the launch of new phone models in Vietnam recently.

In the world, the standard system for wireless equipment is divided into two main groups according to FCC (USA, most South American countries, the Caribbean) and ETSI (EU, Middle East, Australia, most African countries, some African countries, most ASEAN countries). Test results according to the corresponding standard system are accepted across those countries, creating many advantages in importing and exporting goods and cutting compliance costs for manufacturers.

Vietnam is a country in the minority group that develops QCVN radio technical regulation system based on the ETSI standard system, but does not directly accept ETIS test results for conformity certification at the present time. In the context of limited testing infrastructure capacity in Vietnam, a number of local monopoly areas in conformity assessment services naturally formed. Some fluctuations in the information technology equipment market have occurred recently as a result.


Compliance cost increasing

Since 01-July-2022, compliance costs for 5G mobile phones have been continuously impacted by rapidly increasing testing fees:


Test cost for 5G NR smart phone

(for Vietnam market only)

Before 01-July-2022

In country testing: USD 2,500 ~ 3,000  / model

From 01-July-2022 to 30-Jun-2023

In country testing: USD 3,000 ~ 4,000  / model

GCF test in oversea coutrnies: > 40,000 USD

From 01-July-2023

In country testing: > USD 130,000 / model

(Price in March 2023)


Need a "push" from policy

Reducing compliance costs for smart phones is one of the important solutions to reduce product costs and lower market entry barriers for new brands. Low-cost 5G phones will promote the development of 5G data services of carriers and Vietnam's digital infrastructure, creating conditions for achieving the goal of universalizing smartphones by 2025.

At this time, solutions from product quality management policies and investments by state-owned enterprises in 5G testing infrastructure are becoming more urgent than ever.


Accompanying consulting agency

In a volatile context, ExtendMax stands out as a reliable companion of manufacturers. We have made accurate predictions, planned and provided effective solutions for our partners to better adapt to changes in the near future. Thereby, we help manufacturers ensure a continuous and sustainable supply chain of products to the Vietnamese market.


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Tran Thanh Phuong
I am Tran Thanh Phuong, a jurist specializing in Product Quality Law, Cyber Information Security Law, Customs Law, Foreign Trade Management Law, and Commercial Law. I am a consultant trusted by the world's leading technology corporations in the field of consulting on legal regulations and market access requirements for importing information technology products into Vietnam
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