Laos Communications - 2021


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,490,831

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20.28 (2019 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4,362,183

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59.33 (2019 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

reliance on radio network to communicate with remote areas; regulatory reform is below industry standards; government aims to strengthen infrastructure and attract foreign investment; low fixed-broadband penetration; dominance in mobile broadband with 4G and LTE, but low compared to other Asian markets; ASEAN Digital Hub investment provides international capacity; state owns almost all media, except for some entertainment outlets, and has suppressed some news; importer of broadcasting equipment and computers from China; providers examining m-payment platforms and 5G tests (2021)


domestic: fixed-line 21 per 100 and 61 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2019)

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

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

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: 1,845,437

percent of population: 25.51% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 45,379

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.