Last updated: 11 Aug 2020 Update History
Report Pages: 82
Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo
The telecom sector in Laos still has numerous issues to address. For a number of years, the rate of regulatory reform has been well behind wider industry development. However, Laos has started to make significant progress in strengthening its telecom infrastructure. As a result, it has attracted greater foreign investment into the sector.
The provision of fixed broadband services is low, which is of major concern for the overall social and economic development of the country. Services are limited in scale and reach, partly due to the meagre footprint of fixed-line services and partly due to the dominance of the mobile platform, which provides the bulk of voice and data connectivity.
The mobile sector has gone through a difficult period, and though subscriber growth has picked up to some extent following a three-year slump up to 2018, the MNOs operate in a tightly regulated environment with little latitude on pricing and competition.
The mobile broadband sector has expanded rapidly in recent years as the reach of LTE infrastructure has been expanded. While mobile broadband penetration remains low for the region, this provides an opportunity for further growth during the next few years.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.
Lao Telecom (LTC), Thaicom, ETL, Unitel, Lao Asia Telecom, Star Telecom, Viettel, Beeline, Millicom, VEON, Planet Online, Sky Telecom, China-APMT.
Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.
Dominic Schipano, CITT
BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.
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