Sunday, 23 June 2013 21:18

Laos: Lack of 3G bandwidth

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Lack of 3G bandwidth in Lao PDR Lack of 3G bandwidth in Lao PDR Yozzo © 2013
Laos has seen one of the fastest growth of third generation (3G) coverage in the region, with mobile phone signal now covering almost the whole since the service was launched in 2008.

According to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications in Laos, 3G mobile phone signal now covers all provinces in the country, and 110 of the total 147 districts have 3G signal access.

The reason for the rapid 3G expansion is according to Vientiane Times, due to the competition among the telecom firms in Laos. At present, there are four telecom firms in Laos, namely;

  • Lao Telecom (LTC);
  • Enterprise of Lao Telecommunication (ETL);
  • Unitel;
  • Beeline.

However, internet users said, that despite the coverage of 3G service, customers complain that the signal is still weak compared to 3G services in other countries. In response to this, an official from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication told Vientiane Times that there are numerous companies sharing bandwidth, because they do not want to invest considerable capital.

The government of Laos gave the approval for telecom firms to introduce 4G in 2012. However, the 4G expansion is still limited to a couple of zones in the main capital, Vientiane.

Despite the fact that Laos has had 3G available for five years now, the number of Internet users is estimated at only 5 percent of the total population, leaving the country far behind neighboring Thailand which began to offer 3G service last month (May 2013) The mobile subscriber penetration in Laos was 87 percent (Q1 2013) Population 6,25 million.

Via: Vientiane Times

Allan T. Rasmussen

Telecom specialist with a 25+ year track record in Telecom, Broadcasting and IT. Specialties: MVNO, MVNE, Media & Broadcasting, Mobile Devices, Emerging markets, ASEAN, Thailand, Laos

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