Lao Telecommunications reports 11 percent subscriber growth

LTC is as a joint venture, between the Government of Lao PDR and Thaicom

Lao Telecommunication Company (LTC) improved its 3G mobile system in 2013 to allow for higher data usage by customers and deployed 60 LTE base station in Vientiane, although not commercial available yet.

At the end of 2013, LTC had 1,487,256 total phone subscribers (landline and mobile combined), up by 11.4% from 1,335,598 end of 2012.

Lao Telecommunications Company Limited (LTC) was established in October 1996 as a joint venture, between the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (51%) and the Thai company Thaicom (formerly Shin Corporation Plc.) with 49%.

Thaicom’s revenue from combined telephone and Internet services in Lao PDR in 2013 was THB 837 million, up by THB 108 million or 14.8% compared to THB 729 million in 2012. The revenue growth was according to Thaicom mainly contributed by increases in:

  • Revenue from prepaid and postpaid mobile phone services, resulting from higher mobile phone subscriber base and average revenue per subscriber (ARPU),
  • Revenue from interconnection charge, international telephone service charge, and international roaming (IR) charge,
  • Revenue from sale of SIM card and fixed wireless handset, and;
  • Revenue from Internet access services, following an increase in the number of HSPA-based 3G mobile internet subscribers.

Cost relating to the telephone and Internet business in Lao PDR for 2013 amounted to THB 518 million, an increase of THB 106 million or 25.7% from THB 412 million in 2012, due mainly to increases in:

  • Cost of interconnection charge and international sharing charge following the revenue growth,
  • Depreciation cost for its expanded telephone network, and;
  • Cost of sale of SIM card and fixed wireless handset following the sale growth.

Besides LTC, the other telecom operators in Laos are Enterprise Telecommunications Lao (ETL), Star Telecom (Unitel), VimpelCom Lao Co Ltd (Beeline) and Sky Telecom.

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 Thaicom Group has to transfer all of LTC’s shares to the Government of Lao without any charges.

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan is a MVNA/MVNE/MVNO specialist with hands-on experience from more than 60 projects in both competitive and greenfield markets. His expertise includes business case development, execution, launch and growth strategies. Advisor and consultant to mobile network operators, MVNA, MVNE, MVNO, National Regulatory Authorities, Government Agencies, Broadcast Companies, TMT Industry Associations, Innovation and Investment Banks.
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