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Unitel expanding 4G network coverage in Laos

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VIENTIANE - Star Telecom Company Ltd, aka Unitel, will continue 4G network expansion with 1,080 base stations in target provinces by year-end in response to increasing competition, according to the company’s head.

4G is short for the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology which is considered up to five times faster than the older 3G, allowing quicker downloading and uploading to the internet.

Chairman of the Executive Board of Star Telecom, Oulaha Thongvantha said recently that Unitel so far has 280 exclusive 4G base stations for Vientiane and the three provinces of Champassak, Savannakhet and Luang Prabang.

Oulaha explained that Unitel invested in development and new equipment and technology infrastructure for many years before being able to offer 4G services in 2015, and was planning to broaden the service to other provinces as soon as possible.

Nationally, Unitel has 4,623 base stations including those for 2G and 3G network coverage, accounting for a 50 per cent market share of 2.5 million mobile subscribers.

Unitel claims its mobile network can cover 95 per cent of the population and thus far has rolled out more than 20,000 km of underground fibre optic cable for internet coverage.

Unitel offers its 4G mobile services through prepaid and post-paid plans, along with packages for router wifi with daily, weekly and monthly duration.

Star Telecom is a joint venture between Viettel Global Joint Stock Company (Viettel Global) and Lao Asia Telecom, which operates mobile services, fixed phones, internet, leased lines and value added services.

Apart from the 4G service, Unitel also recently offered what it called mobile TV service enabling customers to watch live broadcasts on their mobile phones at a reasonable cost.

Unitel is the fourth company in Laos to offer 4G services, following Lao Telecom, Vimpelcom (Beeline) and Planet Online Laos.

According to statistics from GSMA Intelligence in mid-September 2016, Viettel had increased its foreign subscribers to 26 million in Laos, Cambodia, East Timor and Cameroon, as well as Haiti, Mozambique, Burundi, Peru and Tanzania, bringing the total to 90 million subscribers (including Vietnam). The company has been listed among the top 30 telecommunications groups with the highest number of subscribers in the world. 

Published : August 25, 2017

By : Vientiane Times/ANN