Open Technology Facilitates National Digital Transformation

10:52:37 AM | 12/11/2020

Open technology is a way for nations to master their own technology. In Vietnam, open approaches to advanced technology development like open platform for camera development, open 5G radio access network, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain open data, open culture approach, open data-based software development have greatly helped promote national digital transformation.

Inevitable trend

According to Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, information technology and digital technology have been, and will be, coming to every corner of the social life.

“Digital technology has become breathing air and technology, therefore, must be made “as cheap as air” and the way to achieve it is open technology, he said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, many Vietnamese digital applications, including Bluezone and CoMeet, were developed very quickly on an open source platform to meet Vietnam’s urgent unique needs to prevent the epidemic infections and bring life to new normal, he added. Data opening and open data are decisive to create new values for the people and for the country. The Ministry of Information and Communications launched a national portal to open data at and currently has more than 10,000 data sets.

Mr. Nguyen Trong Duong, Deputy Director of the Authority of Information Technology Application (AITA) under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said, the development of open source projects is an irreversible trend of the global technological sector. Hence, Vietnam needs to be in the top 10 of open source software growth rankings.

Currently, nearly three million organizations and businesses from 70 countries around the world have joined the GitHub open source community. 35 of Top 50 companies in the world are joining or sending experts to open source projects on this forum.

After the United States, China stands second in the world in terms of open source applications. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam ranks 3rd and in the Top 20 in the world in open source applications after Singapore (17th) and Malaysia (18th).

Mr. Nguyen Hong Quang, Chairman of Vietnam Free and Open Source Software Club, said, advantages of open technology include ease of access and high flexibility when open standards help reduce dependence on tools or background. Open technologies tend to work better together. In particular, open technology helps to reduce security risks and increase portability.

Emphasizing that open technology is not only about open source, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung affirmed that open technology is also open architecture and open standards. And going with open technology is open culture. Vietnam develops 5G technology based on Open RAN Technology. Vietnam’s 5G networks will also use open standards.

Three key pillars

According to Minister Hung, opting for open technology, open source software and open data for individuals and businesses to take part in creating new values is a guided approach. With this orientation, Vietnam will develop into a technology country that bases on human knowledge but contributes to human knowledge as well, he added.

The research and manufacture of devices based on open technology will allow technology businesses to cooperate and combine each other's strengths to go faster and achieve better technology. Vietnam is the 5th country in the world to own 5G equipment. Two major Vietnamese technology firms, Viettel and Vingroup, have agreed to cooperate in developing 5G according to OpenRAN open standards after a period of independent development of 5G technology under the direction of the Ministry of Information and Communications. Accordingly, Vingroup will make radio - hardware and Viettel will focus on signal processing - software. The two will integrate them into commercial products. This cooperation has accelerated equipment mastery as well as combined each other's technological strengths to make internationally competitive 5G equipment. In addition, this combination also offers bigger markets for both firms.

The three major carriers in Vietnam - MobiFone, VinaPhone and Viettel - started broadcasting 5G networks in the last days of November 2020, initially piloting the advanced connectivity network in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Sharing about future directions, AITA Deputy Director Nguyen Trong Duong said that Vietnam needs to develop open technology, focusing on three pillars: “Make in Vietnam” open ecosystem, fostering an open culture, and developing an open community.

In training and research, Vietnam will need major topic projects on open source software. The measure of research topic quality must be based on its contributions to the international community.

Regarding open technology ecosystem development, technology enterprises, especially large ones, must act as examples, prioritize R&D funding for open source projects. Vietnam will also work toward promoting an open culture, fostered by universities and technology businesses.

Mr. Do Cong Anh, Deputy Director of AITA, announced the 2021 Action Program for Vietnam Open Technology Forum. This is the commitment of the Vietnamese open community to jointly develop and master digital technology and accelerate the National Digital Transformation.

By Ha Thu, Vietnam Business Forum