Vietnamese telecommunications and digital services provider VNPT is gearing up to explore new industrial and technical collaborations in key digital areas with French multinational Thales.
The two companies, already longtime partners, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Paris earlier this month in conjunction with an official Vietnamese government ministerial visit to France.
The two-year partnership established under the MoU sees Thales – which is a player in the communications and data protection markets, among others – and VNPT jointly explore a number of key digital areas of importance to Vietnam.
These areas include smart and safe city, digital identity and biometrics, 5G and internet of things (IoT) adoption and services, and cyber security.
A key pillar of the collaboration will see the companies study telecommunications satellites, including telecoms satellite technology, missions and new applications from 5G to aerospace and maritime connectivity.
Specifically, Thales and VNPT will work closely on space topics linked to Vietnam’s priority space initiative, of which the future implementation of the VINASAT 3 telecommunications satellite, set to replace the existing VINASAT 1 and 2, will be a major component.
The smart and safe city pillar of the collaboration will see the organisations investigate possible critical infrastructure projects in Vietnam built around open digital platforms.
Already, VNPT operates ‘Intelligent Operation Centres’ in 20 provinces. Meanwhile, Thales has developed an open and cyber secured digital platform underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics that is thought to offer intelligent, automated data processing that can support city operators in their decision making.
In the field of digital identity and biometrics, the areas of exploration will include a citizen mobile identification project in which Thales brings its expertise in a secure ID wallet that is able to aggregate digitalised ID documents into a single vault.
At the same time, cyber security will be a recurring theme across all projects between the two companies, with exploration in areas including cyber training platforms, cyber threat intelligence and sovereign data protection.
“The relationship between Thales and VNPT dates back over two decades with strong collaboration in the mobile telecommunications sector,” said Pascale Sourisse, Thales senior executive vice president of international development. “I am pleased to take those relationships a step further today with this MoU.
“As a key digital technology player, our technologies can help support VNPT in their transition to a 5G era, while our joint research aligns strongly with Vietnam’s ambitions of becoming a forward-looking digital nation,” she said.
The agreement comes after the Vietnamese government in September signed off on a decision on establish the National Committee on Digital Transformation, chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Broadly, the country’s government is emphasising technology adoption and innovation as part of its 2021 – 2025 Socioeconomic Development Plan.
In August this year, VNPT's IT services business VNPT-IT struck a deal with Singapore-based cyber security solution provider Group-IB to jointly develop and provide solutions and services aimed at ensuring a cyber-safe business environment in Vietnam.
The two companies signed an MoU stipulating that VNPT Cyber Immunity, which is a member of VNPT-IT and one of the leading cyber security solutions providers in Vietnam, will adopt Group-IB’s threat intelligence and attribution system
This meant the Vietnamese provider could gain access to what Group-IB claimed was the largest database on threats and attackers directly relating to the entire VNPT group, as well as acute cyber security risks globally.