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Telecom Operators Eye Potential Of 5G Network

Source: Vientiane Times

The Department of Radio Frequency under the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications continued discussions on a roll-out of the 5G network in Laos with internet service providers yesterday. 

Telling of their ongoing preparations for a 5G network, internet providers said 5G would speed up the nation’s e-commerce activities and advance technological and industrial services.

5G networks operate in a high-frequency band on the wireless spectrum, somewhere between 28 GHz and 60 GHz.

The Department of Radio Frequency yesterday discussed frequency policy, network equipment and terminal equipment needs with industry officials present at the workshop.

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Director General of the department, Mr Xayluxa Insisiengmay, said internet providers presently offer a 4G network in Laos’ larger towns.

He said one of the key factors in determining whether Laos would develop a 5G network was market demand. If the market demands the service, the ministry would be ready to support its provision.

Mr Xayluxa said the ministry is currently considering the potential benefits of 5G for the education, health and agriculture sectors.  

A number of Asean countries, including Vietnam and Thailand, have begun unofficial provision of 5G services in city centres. Thailand expects full commercial operation of 5G services to begin next year.

Mr Xayluxa said the department wants to support Lao telecom operators in providing 5G as soon as other nations in the region do.

During the workshop, various telecom operators shared their preparedness for providing 5G related services including the infrastructure they have in place and plans for launching the service. All spoke of the benefits that 5G could deliver.

While faster internet speeds was one obvious advantage, it was also recognised that Laos could benefit from new internet networks thanks to its central location in the Mekong region. It was possible for the country to have greater access to cheaper internet because Laos could share the cost of internet infrastructure with other countries in the region, it was suggested.

At present, many internet cables are laid on the seabed to enable countries to connect.  An internet network through Laos could make the expansion of services easier for all its neighbouring countries.