In the midst of the booming economy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, one company stands out as the nation’s largest telecommunications provider, providing a digital network that connects communities and lives. Lao Telecommunication Public Company, known as Lao Telecom, has been a trailblazer in the realm of telecommunications for a very long time. For nearly three decades, this telecommunications giant has consistently led the way in providing cutting-edge technology, connectivity, and a window to the world for the people of Laos.
Lao Telecom’s journey dates back to a time when the Lao PDR government was focusing on national socio-economic development. The Ministry of Communications, Transport, Post, and Construction tasked the Enterprise of Post and Telecommunications Lao (EPTL) with developing a national telecommunications system. In 1994, the Lao government entered into a joint-venture agreement with Shinawatra International PLC, leading to the establishment of the Lao Shinawatra Telecom Company Limited (LST).
The pivotal merger of ETL and LST in 1996 laid the foundation for the birth of the company we know today – Lao Telecommunications Company Limited (LTC). On November 11, 1996, LTC commenced full operations, offering a wide variety of services such as fixed-line, digital GSM, and CDMA telephone services. Over the years, their service portfolio expanded to include a wide spectrum of offerings, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and 4.5G mobile phone connectivity, fixed line and fixed wireless telephone services, optical fibre to the home internet, international calling, and mobile data services.
At the core of Lao Telecom’s mission is the commitment to providing comprehensive telecommunications and digital lifestyle services at international standards to the people of the Lao PDR. This commitment transcends mere words and is consistently reflected in their actions and innovations.
Lao Telecom maintains a corporate culture based on principles that prioritise human capital development in a digital environment, ensuring a competitive edge in the industry. They aim to exceed customer expectations by providing lifestyle-enhancing services through professionalism, integrity, and equality. Treating all stakeholders equally and equitably is a foundational value, along with promoting sustainable business growth.
The value system embraced by Lao Telecom is built on several key pillars:
Innovation – Lao Telecom is dedicated to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technological advancements. They continuously study and incorporate new technologies like 4G and 5G to improve their broadband speed and capacity.
Financial Inclusion – Recognising the importance of fintech in today’s digital economy, Lao Telecom introduced the M-Money e-wallet, a pioneering step towards financial inclusion and fiscal efficiency. M-Money has become the largest non-bank payment system in the country, facilitating convenient online transactions and aligning with the government’s vision of a cashless society.
Community Support – Beyond their commitment to just customers and partners, Lao Telecom demonstrates a strong commitment to the nation and society as well. They actively engage in various initiatives to promote education, innovation, and community development. For instance, they provide many scholarships to students at the National University of Lao, support start-up events, and have contributed to the construction of schools in rural areas.
Lao Telecom is not just a telecommunications company but sees itself as a steward of community development and innovation. They have embarked on several initiatives to fulfil their commitment to the nation and society:
Education Support – Over the past quarter-century, Lao Telecom has provided scholarships to students at the National University of Lao, supporting the educational aspirations of more than 25 students annually. They have also built schools in rural areas.
Innovation Promotion – Lao Telecom actively participates in events like start-up weekends and hackathons, providing students with a platform to present and develop their projects.
COVID-19 Response – During the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lao Telecom played a crucial role in supporting the government. Their contributions included acquiring testing and treatment equipment for vaccines and providing telecommunications support to frontline healthcare professionals.
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Lao Telecom remains committed to staying at the forefront of innovation. They are vigilantly watching developments in AI and other emerging technologies, recognising the profound impact these innovations may have on telecommunications and digital services.
Their strong focus on human capital development ensures they have the right people with the right skills to harness the power of these technologies. They are committed to employing individuals who will drive the implementation of new technologies and foster a culture of creativity. Beyond their commitment to their customers and partners, the company aims to contribute to the nation’s progress and society’s development.
In the ever-changing digital world, Lao Telecom’s vision for the future is clear: to provide services that cater to the diverse needs of consumers, businesses, and government institutions. Their journey, grounded in many decades of business experience, firm corporate values, and a forward-thinking vision, has set them on a course to continue shaping the telecommunications scene of the Lao PDR and enriching the lives of its people, providing them with a window into an ever-shrinking world.