Lao Telecommunications reports growth in subscribersWritten by Allan T. Rasmussen
With a population of 6.5 million, a mobile penetration of almost 90 percent, and four mobile network operators, the telecom market competition remains high in Lao PDR.
At the end of Q2 2013, Lao Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (LTC) recorded a total of 1,375,097 subscribers, an increase of 18,167 compared to the 1,356,930 subscribers at the end of Q2/2012.
Lao Telecommunications Company Limited (“LTC”) is a joint venture, established in October 1996, by the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Thai company Shinawatra Computer and Communications Plc., (the former name of Shin Corporation Plc.)
According to the aforementioned Joint Venture Contract, LTC has the right to provide telecommunication services - fixed line phone, mobile phone, international facilities, internet and paging - within the Lao PDR for 25 years. At the end of the 25th year, (in 2021), the Group has to transfer all of LTC’s shares to the Government of Lao without any charges.
Today Shenington Investments Pte Ltd. holds 49% of LTC’s registered shares while the Lao government holds the remaining 51%.
Shenington Investments Pte Ltd. operates as a jointly-controlled holding entity which also includes the Qatar Company “Oreedoo”, who recently won one of the telecom licenses in Myanmar. Shenington Investments Pte Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Thaicom Public Company Limited.
1 trillion kip
Back in April 2013 LTC’s Director General, Thongsay Sanexay, told Vientiane Times, that the company is anticipating about 1 trillion kip in earnings this year. (U$1 = 7,817.23 KIP) The company expects the 1 trillion kip figure to include a net profit of about 148.6 billion kip after contributing around 275.4 billion kip to the national revenue.
“So far we have pushed 9% ahead of target for the first six months which we estimated to be 500 billion kip,” Mr Thongsay also said that LTC intends to invest about 217.6 billion kip (US27.2 million) in service improvements and network expansion this year, and hopes to gain an additional 100,000 subscribers. LTC's expansion and development plans include mobile phone base stations, internet, and service centers in Vientiane and the provinces.
LTC's revenue for 2012 was 975.9 billion kip, a 7% increase on the year's target and 21% more than the amount earned in 2011. It returned a net profit of 122.3 billion kip, 86.8% more than in 2011.
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