It's probably one of the first thing you may ask, right after getting the key of your apartment or house. How about internet ?
Here are some information about Internet in Vietnam:
Basically, you have 3 types of connections:
- ADSL, Asymetric connection (Good download speed with a max of 20M but lower upload speed with a max of 1M, which is okay for a basic use of internet, but if you want faster download or more important, faster upload, to share pictures, send email attachment, publish some videos, etc... you will need a different technology). I actually suggest you not to go for ADSL, unless no choice.
- Fiber (Usually FTTH - Fiber To The Home), most reliable way to get internet, yet quite accessible in Vietnam. It's a symmetric connection (Same download speed than upload speed) and can reach very fast speed. But in Vietnam most of the commercialized offer, only go up to 80 or 100M. Which is already very fast. (But very expansive at that level)
- Cable, we don't usually talked about this, but internet cable is available in Vietnam. Some providers even offer up to 160M. It's a very different technology but seems to be offering pretty good results in Vietnam, while being less popular.
- Mobile network, the 4G have been recently commercialized in Vietnam (by some ISP) and is available in few district of few cities. However, it seems the feedback are not so great about 4G (I personally never got more than 15M, which is already much better than the local 3G, but still far from the technology potential). For your housing, don't bother using a 4G router at the moment.
The choice of technology will be based on prices and availability. But you cannot go wrong with Fiber.
For ADSL and Fibber, the 3 most popular / bigger on the market are:
- VNPT (FiberVNN), from the Vietnam Post & Telecommunication, #1 market share, pioneer in the field, as most of the Post and Telecom companies
- Viettel, military owned, with a large non-commercial infrastructure, #2 market share
- FPT, a large private corporation, specialized in IT applications (Internet, distribution, consulting, etc...), #3 market share
Then for cables, the 2 most popular are:
working together actually.
Each providers have their own infrastructure and connectivity, but once you need to access international website outside Vietnam (Which is probably what we all need), the infrastructure remains the same for all (Some providers relying heavily on some connection more than others).
Vietnam is connected by the rest of the world by 4 submarine cables:
- AAG (Asia America Gateway), the biggest of all with 2.88 Tbit/s, where probably 70% of the traffic goes
- SMW3 (Southeast Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3),
- TVH (Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong),
- and the IA (Intra Asia), mostly for Viettel.
The thing is every year those cables are being damaged by all sort of things (rupture) and in this case, the connection is impossible. The network need to be rerouted to the others cables.
As the capacity of those 4 cables are quite limited, any interruption of one will case serious slowdown of Vietnam internet. We recently have the AAG under maintenance for quite some times.
Every year the cable goes down (2 or 3 times a year).
The land connectivity is not so great neither, as for example, the land cable that goes through China only has a connectivity of 120 gigabit/second.
Great news however, 2 new cables are coming:
- AAE 1 (Asia Africa Euro 1), heavily invested by Viettel, that will land to Vung Tau, with a capacity of 40TB/s where Viettel will have the right to use 2TB/s. I suppose they will resell this right to others. (VNPT has also invested in the cable), Supposed to be ready by end of the year, great to reach Europe
- FASTER, a 60TB/s cable, connecting US again (AAG is) will probably be ready end of this year or beginning of next year. Here again, Viettel and VNPT have invested there. (Not sure about how much of the cable they can use).
Obviously, those cables are being used by others neighborhood countries, but will greatly enhance the connectivity of the country.
Prices and packages
Some ISP offer special packages (With TV, MOD,..). I will only share for the basic internet.
Actually, you can all the information on their official website. (And it's best to check, as those offer might be regularly updated). Feel free to use Google Translate to get an understanding.
Assuming you are looking for a FTTH connection:
For FPT, you could check here: http://www.fpt.vn/san-pham/ftth-2.html
For Viettel, here: http://vietteltelecom.vn/ca-nhan/co-dinh/dich-vu-ftth
And for VNPT, there: http://www.fibervnn.vn/home/index.php?/ … -mytv.html
You will find several offers, at different prices and speed.
Usually, they split their offer in 2, the consumer based (Cheaper and up to 40M) or the professional/techy (Up to 80M or 100M).
The prices can start as low as 150,000VND per month (Assuming you take a long term contract, which I don't recommend as competition is fierce) and as high as 15M/month.
The choice will depends on your needs and budget, but the main difference between professional ones and consumer ones, is the international available bandwidth.
At equivalent contract speed (40M from VNPT as example), you will either pay 455,000/month or 780,000/month. But with the second option, you will be guaranteed 512kb/s of international traffic.
I have never been a fan of guaranteed speed for consumer, even if I'm having the FPT 40M package (Fiber Business) with 1.5M guarantee, as usually, if you do not have such contract, but the capacity is enough, you will benefit great download/upload at full speed. Only when an issue happen, you won't have the priority. (Which arrive very often actually !)
However, if the maximum speed of consumer package does not satisfy you (Which was my case), you will have no choice than using such package.
I suppose with the 2 new undersea cables, the international connectivity should be greatly improved. I hope they will either increase the speed of their package or reduce their prices (Especially for their premium ones).
If I had to choice, I would probably go for Viettel based on their latest investment overseas. But the best will be to do some real tests. (Speedtest and co).
Hope it helps for new comers.
Feel free to comment or share your experience.