Viettel rolling out 5G in Laos by end-2020

Viettel, a military-run telecom group in Vietnam, is rolling out 5G technology in Laos by the end of 2020. This will be the group’s third overseas launch of the 5G service, and it plans to expand into other South-east Asian countries. 

Since summer, Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier has been testing 5G in Myanmar, Cambodia and in its own country. Unitel, a member company of Viettel, will be the first operator in Laos to offer the 5G technology. The company has claimed to deploy 6,000 3G and 4G base stations that cover 95% of the country; and, the operator currently has three million subscribers, about half of the local market. 


During the implementation of the first official connection on Viettel’s 5G network, the actual data transferred reached 1.5-1.7GB per second. This is faster than 4G LTE network theoretical speed limit and equates to the speed of present commercial broadband.


Last month, Viettel started its end-to-end 5G network in Ho Chi Minh City, offering the country 5G experience for the first time. 


This marks an important milestone, making Vietnam one of the first countries in the region to commercialise 5G services. 


In addition, 1,000 narrow band-IoT (NB-IoT) broadcasting stations were established to cover the whole city. The country’s telecommunication infrastructure currently provides mobile coverage to 99.7% of the population and 5G will first target high usage areas when replacing cable networks. 


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