Australia – Vietnam: 35 Years of Fruitful Telecommunications Cooperation
|At the celebration (Photo: Australian Embassy to Vietnam)
Recreating the inaugural telephone call from Vietnam to Australia, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Australia’s Overseas Telecommunication Commission (OTC) (later Telstra) and Vietnam’s General Department of Posts and Telecommunications (GDPT) (later VNPT) signing the first Business Cooperation Agreement in 1988.
“This partnership has truly created a landmark change in connecting Vietnam with the world and has contributed to building a solid foundation for the bilateral relationship that our two countries have today”, said Ambassador Goledzinowski.
According to the Ambassador, “This partnership has greatly supported Vietnam in the process of realizing the benefits of innovation and helping to create a favorable environment for business and investment in Vietnam”.
“As we celebrate 50 years of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Vietnam this year, we are focusing on the next stage of cooperation to realize the opportunities of the digital revolution. I would like to congratulate all individuals who have contributed to creating a good foundation for this cooperation and thank you for your contributions to the friendship between our two countries", he went on.
OTC installed Vietnam’s first Vista satellite earth station in HCM City in 1987, which was routed to Australia. This provided for up to five international calls to be made simultaneously, an improvement in quality and capacity compared with existing radio links.
Additional and larger satellite earth stations were built first in Hanoi and then across the country and International Telecommunications Centers were also established in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In early 1989, visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gareth Evans, made the first call over a new satellite link from Hanoi to his colleague Acting Minister for Telecommunications, Bob Brown, in Australia. This was followed by the installation by OTC of new larger satellite receiving stations in HCM City and Hanoi, which greatly increased capacity and service offerings on the INTELSAT network.
Throughout the 1990s, as technology changed other important milestones were reached. The first internet modem was brought to Vietnam by Australian National University Professor Rob Hurle in 1991. Australia was involved with Vietnam’s first submarine cable, which landed in Vung Tau in 1999. The cable allowed for 15,000 international calls to be made simultaneously, as well as international high-speed data and video services. A second submarine cable followed in 2000, landing in Da Nang, and remains operational today.
In addition to infrastructure, the partnership also focuses on human resource development. OTC/Telstra has supported training programs for more than 3,000 technicians, engineers, financial managers and marketers in the telecommunications industry in Vietnam.
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