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Laos Communications - 2024


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,300,195 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2021 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4,822,973 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 65 (2021 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Laos joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2013; one of the conditions of admittance was to establish an independent regulator for its telecom sector within two years; the government had committed to do so by February 2015 as part of the accession agreement; there still has been no sign of any firm plans being made to create an independent regulatory body; the Ministry of Technology and Communications retains the primary role in regulating the country’s telecom market; with the government also having a financial stake (in part or in whole) in every one of the major fixed-line and mobile operators, the MPT’s position and decision-making is far from what could be considered independent; sufficient returns on investment cannot be guaranteed with such strict pricing controls as well as the potential for political interference; fixed-line and mobile penetration levels have, as a result, remained much lower than what’s seen in neighboring South East Asian markets; there are signs of growth in the mobile broadband segment as LTE network coverage slowly widens and, more recently, the country’s first 5G services start to come on stream; residents in the capital will at least be able to enjoy high-speed services in the near future, while the rest of the country waits patiently to catch up with the rest of the world. (2022)

domestic: fixed-line nearly 18 per 100 and 65 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2021)

international: country code - 856; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and a second to be developed by China

Broadcast media

6 TV stations operating out of Vientiane - 3 government-operated and the others commercial; 17 provincial stations operating with nearly all programming relayed via satellite from the government-operated stations in Vientiane; Chinese and Vietnamese programming relayed via satellite from Lao National TV; broadcasts available from stations in Thailand and Vietnam in border areas; multi-channel satellite and cable TV systems provide access to a wide range of foreign stations; state-controlled radio with state-operated Lao National Radio (LNR) broadcasting on 5 frequencies - 1 AM, 1 SW, and 3 FM; LNR's AM and FM programs are relayed via satellite constituting a large part of the programming schedules of the provincial radio stations; Thai radio broadcasts available in border areas and transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are also accessible

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 4.588 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 62% (2021 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 128,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.