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Vietnamese city drinks the smart city kool aid

Da Nang switches on free metro Wifi and charges towards e-government

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The Vietnamese city of Danang today took a major step towards becoming the smartest and most technologically advanced city in the nation, with the launch of a comprehensive Information Technology and Communication Infrastructure System.

The system includes a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), city-wide Wi-Fi access capable of sustaining 20,000 concurrent connections, an IT Applications Training and Research Centre and an Intel-powered green datacentre.

At least 150 Wi-Fi access points will be made available in the city for local residents and tourists, while the 10Gbps MAN will help local government departments and agencies work more efficiently and spur e-government efforts, according to Danang Today.

The green datacentre piece will also help Danang complete its e-government transformation project by 2020, providing online services for all major departments, according to Intel.

Chipzilla signed an MoU with the local government back in 2011 to support its city-wide IT efforts and will continue to do so until 2015.

The datacentre itself is also helping to support Danang’s ambitious smart city plans. Just last week the city switched on an IBM Intelligent Operations Centre designed to improve the efficiency of its water and transport systems. Over 100 e-government services have also been enabled, most designed to be accessed using smartphones.

As per other “smart city” projects around the world, the aim is to embed sensors in infrastructure around the city to collect data and allow officials to more intelligently manage things like traffic flow and chlorine levels.

Fast-growing Danang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and in many ways embodies emerging Asian nations' and cities' ambitions to adopt e-government, a transition made easier by the absence of previous layers of computing infrastructure. The launch also speaks volumes about Vietnam's rapidly growing confidence and desire to become a major player on the global IT scene.

A report last week from the Vietnamese IT ministry(via TechInAsia) predicted the enterprise IT industry in the country – including areas such as outsourcing, consulting and programming – could soon be worth over $1 billion annually.

The Communist government certainly appears keen to stimulate such growth.

Back in March Google engineer Neil Fraser was shocked to discover that most 11th grade high school students in a class he visited would be able to pass a Google interview based on the questions they were studying at the time. ®

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